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THROWING STUFF – ‘Fit, Fine & Well’ Album Review

THROWING STUFF – Fit, Fine & Well

throwing-stuffThrowing Stuff are a four-piece hardcore punk band based out of Manchester, England by way of London and Liverpool. They play a fast, thrashy, no-nonsense punk that doesn’t shy away from the serious issues and cite Minor Threat as one of their influences.

Fit, Fine & Well is Throwing Stuff’s debut LP. The title comes from the final line of the album closer, Father’s Day. A song about vocalist Ben’s experiences coping with his Dad’s terminal, stage four brain tumor over the last year. Throughout his Dad’s life, “fit, fine and well” has been the stock response to anyone who asked him how he was. Eighteen months on from diagnosis and two operations later, he still says he’s “fit, fine and well” as he battles what’s going on his head.

The album opens with Tracy Chapman where the vocals leave nothing on the cutting room floor with an anger so palpable it made me want to get out on the streets. The boys add a nice touch at the end with a group vocal of the “Don’t you know we’re talking about a revolution….” from Chapman’s most famous song. It’s a blistering opening and that pace is continued with Whatever Made You Think Paper Was Valuable that had strains of Black Flag and The Germs. The Butcher doubles the length of the two circa-one minute openers but there is no let up in intensity and the back-and-forth between lead and backing vocals is used to strong effect. There is a distinct American Hardcore sound to Throwing Stuff with a twist that current and fresh. On Hangxiety, the band deal with depression with a sledgehammer between the eyes 48 seconds.

The band don’t shy away political issues and the excellent We Wrote This Song Before David Cameron Resigned is a great punk rock slab of anger and frustration. I Wish You Would Hibernate slows things down with chunky, churning chords underpinning some great vocals born of frustration and a bass/vocal break that is just stunning.

I Know What’s Best, a song about singer Ben’s mental health struggles in the last year is a pure example of the bands introspective approach on this album. It’s powerful and heavy (both lyrically and musically) and full of angst and energy. We Are Only Health To The Extent That Our Ideas Are Humane is almost longer in title than song length at just 24 seconds!

Throwing Stuff are at their best when they match the vocals with longer song treatments such as Token Beef where they have room to play around with changes in pace on the slow-fast-slow Pixies style sound and showcase each instrument. However, the shorter, Minor Threat style songs are the bands forte with most under two minutes in length. The Hunter is a ferocious song that reminded me of UK82s Disorder or Chaos UK with a Rabid Jubilee riff.

How Do You Sleep At Night is a mosh pit pleaser with a riff that just demands you get up and move. The penultimate track of the fifteen song album, Steve’s Job is another nod to West Coast punks like Off! or the Circle Jerks but with more power. Last up is Father’s Day a poignant reminder of Ben’s dad’s situation and it’s a rage against the machine hunk of punk rock anger and gut-wrenching emotion. It is hard not to cry as you listen.

Due for release on April 7th, just in time for their trip around the UK with Aussie punks, Clowns. Go see them and be prepared to have your Mohawk blown right off your head – these boys are the real deal.

The album is available to pre-order now on vinyl (one side, milky clear) and CD. The first 25 vinyl orders receive a limited edition record with one side spray painted with the Throwing Stuff logo.

 

Upcoming shows:

21st April – Manchester Punk Festival. Sound Control, Manchester

23rd April – The Lughole, Sheffield (with Clowns)

24th April – Maguires, Liverpool (with Clowns)

25th April – The Owl Sanctuary, Norwich (with Clowns)

26th April – The Junction, Plymouth (with Clowns)

27th April – Quadrant, Brighton (with Clowns)

28th April – Urban Bar, London (with Clowns)

 

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