I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, and I’m sorry to my primary school teacher who tried to instil this in me from an early age, but sometimes I do and I really can’t help it.
One of these times, was when Throw The Goat’s album Black Mountain landed in my inbox (journalists don’t deal in physical copies any more) and I did, instantly judge them. On their name, the way they looked and the way the promo track sounded. I then, shamefully, shuffled the album to the back of my review pile and only came to it later.
I’ll take this opportunity to apologise to Throw The Goat and to my primary school teacher because had I listened to her all those years ago I would have heard the album sooner and realised that it was not to be judged on first impressions.
The album begins with ‘Southeast Bound’, a track that immediately sets the dirty rock tone for the rest of the album. Initially, when the vocals first hit, I must admit the track did make me laugh but as I listened further I realised that my laugh was almost expected if not welcomed. The album often walks a fine line between serious and comedic, often dipping more than its toe into the comedic side of things. Tracks such as ‘Havin’ a Beer’ and ‘Beef‘ are obviously displays of the band deciding to not take everything altogether seriously. By no means is Black Mountain a straight comedy album though, it’s just got a strong tongue in cheek element that could almost be likened to the subject matter of Turbonegro.
Musically speaking comedy is left firmly behind though, the riffs are heavy, the melodies are surprisingly catchy and the solos will literally strip you naked with their sleazy tone. Although the lads in Throw The Goat seem to enjoy a laugh and have no shame in admitting that, they certainly take their music seriously. Many influences are also heard within Black Mountain, there’s some desert rock (think Queens Of The Stone Age and Eagles Of Death Metal), some punk and even some poppy elements.
The chorus in ‘Predictable‘ is anything but what its title suggests, it has a pop-punk hook to it that surprisingly incites a sing-along and what is even more surprising is that this moment is not stand alone within the album. There are also moments when the riffs are ever so slightly tinted with a grunge sound as well, it seems that the band have spread their influential net far in the name of a stronger release.
By the end of the album I had grew a little tired of the band’s sound but that comes down to personal preference more than anything else and even if I had grew complacent I could still see the potential market for Throw The Goat. Their market is in the beer swilling, beef loving, dirty rockers amongst you, the ones who prefer to continue their rager into the next day without so much as a second thought for personal hygiene or altering their cut-off camo shorts and bare chested ensemble.