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Throw Rag - 13 Ft. And Rising

  by Alex Halls

published: 18 / 10 / 2005

Throw Rag - 13 Ft. And Rising
Label: Kung Fu Records
Format: CD


Third album from Californian-based group Throw Rag, who have recently toured with the Queens of the Stone Age and who encompass a rock 'n' roll element within their punk sound

Little known in Europe, '13ft and Rising' is punk band Throw Rag’s third full-length album, following their debut, 'Tee Tot', and its follow-up, 'Desert Shores', and departs to some extent from the sound used previously. Released in July 2005 in the States and September in Europe, the album features Craig Jackman (washboard / trumpet / vocals) who has since decided to leave the band in order to pursue family interests. Formed eight years ago in the Salton Sea, in the heart of the Californian desert, Throw Rag concentrate on intelligently combined sounds; those raw and clean, in order to give a twang that only country music could give previously. The current line-up consists of; Captain Sean Doe (lead vocals); Dino (lead guitar / vocals); Franco Fontana (bass); and Chango Von Streicher (drums), four guys dedicated to the music they play and respected for the alternate sound they are providing listeners with. Having recently finished a tour with Queens of the Stone Age and, therefore, having been introduced to a completely new audience Throw Rag appear to be making inroads into the music industry: the loss of Jackman must be a set back after the advances made of late. '13ft and Rising' is released on Kung Fu Records and consists of a full fifteen tracks, if one includes the bonus live track exclusive to the European version, and then, on top of these, there is also an enhanced video to be viewed on a computer. Of notable importance, these tracks include guest appearances by Motorhead’s Lemmy Kilmister, Jello Biafra of Dead Kennedys fame and the Circle Jerks’ Keith Morris: what names to introduce as guest on an album! Throw Rag encompass a rock ‘n’ roll element within what can be effectively described as a general punk rock sound: this is the main emphasis of the record. Opener, 'Swingset Superman', starts the album off at pace but, by using some hardcore influences within certain riffs and a country vibe that manages to come through at times, which is in part due to Jackman's washboard, '13ft and Rising' gives another take on the genre. It is fair to say that others have tried this before Throw Rag but few have really had an effect and stayed in the fray long enough to be counted. The country feel, most evident in 'So 5th St', draws on the band’s naissance away from the big city. It allows for a more bucolic sound to creep into the music, despite the highly-polished production work and faultless guitaring. Once one throws the "dirty" element into Throw Rag’s sound, it all begins to fit well with the rock ‘n’ roll vibe. 'Rottin’ Me' abides by all this in giving an intro full of seediness, one that comes across in both the vocals and guitars, and, if one is able to let their imagination take them away from reality for a moment, it makes a case for most-played track on the jukebox in a modern cowboy bar: just imagine. The image of rowdiness that this may conjure is in part satisfied by live track, 'Rule Maker', which is seamlessly added to the end of the album, incorporating the wildness of a live show before fading everything out to a pleasant conclusion. Despite this not being everybody’s cup of tea, there is much to take from '13ft and Rising'. The album is well written, well performed and very much more enjoyable than the majority of mindless rubbish we are subjected to nowadays. The dirty rock ‘n’ roll sound is rarely employed within a punk rock setting and, whilst not really exhibiting much punk per se, the indicators of its influence are there to see. It shows that much work has gone into '13ft and Rising' as there are few criticisms to send its way. Ok, the odd track is below par but this is equally matched by some well above. Throw Rag will undoubtedly miss Jackman but, if the right replacement is found, this band could start making its name this side of the Atlantic soon too.

Track Listing:-
1 Swingset Superman
2 She Don't Want To (She Don't Care)
3 Lil' Danny
4 Trouble
5 Bobby Wayne
6 Tonight The Bottle Let Me Down
7 Rotten Me
8 Highway 86
9 Radio Romantica
10 Sad Girl
11 So 5th St (Country In O.G.)
12 Sex War
13 The Promise
14 Children Of The Secret State

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