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2nd Place

Throw Rag

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Album Review

Following the more straightforward punk throwback sound of Throw Rag's third album, 2005's 13 Ft. and Rising, 2nd Place is both much better and more in keeping with the California desert boys' eclectic earlier work. Cramps-like psychobilly, surf-twang guitar in the manner of X's Billy Zoom, old-fashioned cowpunk, even a hint of dramatic mariachi rock à la Calexico and their ilk, all are here, and all sound pretty great. Able to switch from the minor-key mood piece "Vive e Lascie Morire" to the rollicking "Stomp" to the freaky tape-edit experimentation of the psychedelic "D.H.S.," Throw Rag are unafraid to experiment, although not everything pays off. The drunk-sounding spoken word improv of "Johnny Big Nuts" was clearly much more fun to record than it is to listen to. On the other hand, you can't go wrong with an old-fashioned pop-punk tune called "Don't Be Afraid to Pogo," and should that song also feature an old-country Gypsy violin solo, so much the better.

Biography

Formed: 1998 in Salton Sea, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

In the middle of the otherwise barren Colorado Desert in Southern California, second only to Death Valley in its utter desolation, there is the improbable Salton Sea, an enormous man-made saltwater lake created pretty much by accident in the early years of the 20th century. The crazed garage punk outfit Throw Rag are local boys, and the parallels between the landscape of their youth and the music they make are inescapable. Throw Rag's music brings together elements of vintage rockabilly, the Irish...
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2nd Place, Throw Rag
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