From its onset, the tube-crunch surf guitar intro of "Rat Patrol," Throb Throb sizzles like grease in a frying pan until it comes to a halt some 30 minutes later. Like the tank on its cover, Throb is largely informed by an antagonism that rails against the Reaganism that helped spawn intelligent '80s post-punk groups much like Naked Raygun. Titles like "Surf Combat," a song about the effects of napalm at popular beaches, "Gear," a braggadocio commentary about nuclear weapons and the arms race, and "Managua," in which troops march to their impending death, exemplify Throb's political mentality and musical gravity, which are a direct result of the '80s Cold War. Naked Raygun sends the songs up with a sense-raping frazzle and dissonance. While not as furious as Hüsker Dü or as angry as the Misfits, Throb is no less vehement, and ever the more working-class. With comprehensible lyrics everyone can understand and chant, and a plethora of race-against-time guitar melodies, Throb is rare in that it appeals to academics as well as rednecks, straight-shooters as well as in-the-know punks. Borrowing from the big-guitar sound of English heavy metal bands like Iron Maiden and carving catchy melodies usually reserved for Top 40 pop songs into firebrands like "I Don't Know" and "Libido," Naked Raygun assures Throb's place as a classic that is forever ahead of its time, regardless of when it is heard. The Quarterstick reissue of Throb comes with a booklet that contains rare photos of the band, concert set lists, and two short tribute essays. A shortened version of "Libido" is the reissue's only bonus track.
AllMusic Review by Bob Gendron