The Throes

Ameroafriasiana

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Much of the rabid following the Throes had amassed with their near-flawless debut had abandoned them by the time their final album, Ameroafriasiana, was released. It's no wonder: The Throes' relentless touring and less-than-spectacular albums had served to over-saturate their audience with mediocre material. Those who remained found a second triumph in Ameroafriasiana. It's hard not to attribute the success of the record to the return of Harold Evans, but Campbell for his part seems more focused than he has in years. Even the band's psychedelic impulses are grounded in melody. "Understanding" opens into a gigantic, gorgeous chorus, "Grieve" is driven by a sinister, snaking guitar line, and the galloping love song "Satiable" glows with optimism and satisfaction. Only the plodding, repetitive "Slip" is an outright disaster. The rest of the record couples the winsome charm of All the Flowers Growing in Your Mother's Eyes with a maturity and wisdom earned through innumerable hard years. That it served to be the Throes' swan song is both tragic and oddly fitting -- a graceful note on which to end a turbulent career.

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