Review: ThroatpuncH ‘Can’t Understand Normal Thinking’
ThroatpuncH Can’t Understand Normal Thinking
Released: November 16, 2013
November 16, 2013, the sounds from ThroatpuncH’s CD release party still ringing violently in my ears, I found myself driving across Atlanta taking in their latest release, Can’t Understand Normal Thinking. My first exposure to ThroatpuncH came earlier this summer when I caught them live at the Masquerade, opening for Texas Hippie Coalition. After a brief exchange with lead vocalist Adam Lahr about the pictures I had taken during the show, I found out they were working on the release of a new CD. Several months and several messages later, I wound up right where I love to be. Down front, camera in hand, capturing the atmosphere of the show and hearing some great music. And now for something completely different, an album review from a photographer. What’s a photographer know about music? Well, I’m not just a photographer. I am metal, through and through.
Can’t Understand Normal Thinking comes at you from all angles. It’s hard, it’s heavy, it’s groovy (yeah, I said it, it’s groovy). At times it almost makes you check to make sure someone didn’t magically change the CD in your CD player (more on this in a minute). ThroatpuncH is not for the faint at heart. This is no canned, point and click CD that someone threw together a mixed bag of auto-tuned vocals and tracks on. If you are into down and dirty metal, and if you are reading this, you probably are, then I say this album will grab your attention.
Catchy little love songs like “Murder on the First Date” set the tone for this punchy (pun intended) ride through that which is metal. Other heavy hitters include “Captain Jack”, “Warrior”, “Lucky”, and the oh so aptly titled “#8” (which is actually the 7th track on the CD). The album is rounded off with “Sleeper Cell”, which, in my opinion, is anything but a sleeper for sure.
By far my favorite track on the CD is “The Boonies”. This is an absolutely amazing song. Honestly, I had to play this track three times the first time I listened to the CD. The intro fueled flashbacks to Nirvana (I told you I’d get to it in a minute). Adam Lahr’s vocals are spot on and eerily reminiscent of Cobain and the gloomy, slow paced guitars invite you back to the world of 90’s grunge. Then, wham! It hits you, just as you’re lulled into thinking you know where this song is going, you are violently snatched back to reality and thrust into a dark, heavy world with fire breathing dragons. The song transitions back and forth between the two, taking the listener on the equivalent of a heavy metal roller coaster ride through hell. Definitely a keeper!
Following behind “The Boonies” in the category of “favorites”, for me, is “Guilty Conscience”. This song again falls along the slow-fast-slow theme. I guess I’m a sucker for the slow, fast, slow combo, but it works. There is nothing like a slow, melodic tune that jumps out of the bushes, punches you in the face a few times, then hands you a beer and says “sorry bro, I didn’t mean to”. This song has it all. From slow and melodic to head banging and heavy, it is very well done in every way.
Can’t Understand Normal Thinking is definitely not an album for the uninitiated. If you are looking for warm and fuzzy, this ain’t it princess. ThroatpuncH have delivered everything you would expect of a band with that name. With Can’t Understand Normal Thinking, they have earned a place among the recently played status on my iPod for some time to come.
Review by Gary Flinn
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Photos from the CD release show: