Free Throw

Bear Your Mind

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Bear Your Mind Review

by Timothy Monger

Trolling the troughs of modern despair are Free Throw, a vigorous yet wistfully disappointed emo power quintet hailing from Nashville, Tennessee. After a handful of EPs and a full-length debut on Count Your Lucky Stars, the band signed with New York indie Triple Crown Records to release Bear Your Mind, their sophomore LP. Working with producer Brett Romnes (I Am the Avalanche, the Early November) and mixing engineer Vince Ratti (Braid, mewithoutyou), Free Throw reemerge with a more streamlined sound than before, offering a thick-toned attack that lassos in some of their wilier moments while still allowing space for their three-headed guitar beast to roam. Mathy, interlocking parts roil alongside singer Cory Castro's dramatic incantations while the steadfast rhythm section of bassist Justin Castro and drummer Kevin Garcia holds court underneath. The emotional range frequently veers from quiet introspection to tidal surge, especially on tracks like opener "Open Window" and "Hope Spot," each of which builds a gently downtrodden landscape before bursting open the dam in the final quarter. With the added production value also comes greater definition and nuance, helping some of Bear Your Mind transcend standard emo tropes that could sink a more poorly-arranged set. Still, Free Throw are not out to break the mold with this one and, for the most part, the material lives in the pretty familiar confessional, heavy-hearted indie guitar rock. They sport a solid pair of vocalists in Castro and guitarist Jake Hughes while occasionally setting off fireworks with clever guitar work, but overall, Bear Your Mind tucks neatly into the ongoing emo revival.

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