Throw Rag

13 Ft. and Rising

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Hailing from the forsaken desert wilderness of California's Salton Sea, Throw Rag does something that surprisingly few other punk bands do these days: they sound an awful lot like the Dead Kennedys, circa 1980. Where most purveyors of non-metal heavy music these days refer to themselves as "post-hardcore," these guys are very definitely pre-hardcore. Listen to "Lil' Danny" and ask yourself how much it reminds you of "Police Truck," and check out the twisted cowpunk saga "So. 5th St. (Country in O.G.)" and picture the Pogues if Shane MacGowan had grown up in the Imperial Valley. It fits, doesn't it? The funny thing is that Throw Rag started out as an insane acoustic psychobilly outfit, and have gradually (over the course of eight years) turned into the sort of weirdo pre-hardcore monstrosity capable of attracting -- on its first album, mind you -- guest appearances from the likes of Jello Biafra (whose antiestablishment hysteria is starting to sound a bit tired, if you want to know the truth), former Black Flag/Circle Jerks frontman Keith Morris, and the still-godlike Lemmy Kilmister. Unfortunately, not even Lemmy can save the band's ill-considered misappropriation of homeboy Merle Haggard's "Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down," but the originals are all good, whacked-out fun. Recommended to anyone who doesn't care about the state of his or her immortal soul.

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