Nashville-based emo band Free Throw just put out one amazing record last Friday called Bear Your Mind. While I dissect the album by each song and give the reader my ultimate analysis, there are many things we need to open up about first. First off, this album is really what this scene needed. This raw and honest record is something that almost every fan in the scene can relate to on some level. Secondly, one could tell this was a Free Throw record. They weren’t trying to be anyone else and just stuck to their roots. Sometimes it’s hard nowadays to find artists with their own unique sound, but Free Throw is certainly unique.
The album starts off with an acoustic ballad “Open Window,” in which frontman Cory Castro is talking about his dad leaving and not wanting to be like him. The song sets the tone for the album – “Got to get out of my head and find some happiness instead.” The next songs, lead into his woes with minimum wage labor and girl problems.
The lead single, “Randy, I Am the Liquor,” is the anthem of the album. The raw emotion poured out at the end of the song just makes everyone want to get in Castro’s face and scream along with him. The title was also a subtle plug to hit Netflix show The Trailer Park Boys, which us here at Square One can appreciate.
“Weight On My Chest” is about Castro having problems with sleep paralysis and seeing shadow people. But the second he goes to bed he immediately thinks about his problems, and due to both of those things he doesn’t sleep much. The next songs lead into social awkwardness, which many of us can relate to.
“Andy And I, Uh…” is the song where the album title Bear Your Mind gets in inspiration through the lyrics:
“Bear in mind
Everyone says that I’m better
I’m not better I’m indifferent
And that’s not okay.”
“Cal Ripken Jr. Johnson” is one of the more darker songs of the album talking about depression and social anxiety Castro faces. He talks about faking things to the point where he hates himself for it. The song finishes off with this set of lyrics:
“And you know, the Phoenix may rise up and fly again
But one would think it’d lose a bit of soul every time
The ashes may always reform
But do the flames happen to burn away the scars in my mind?
I don’t think they do…”
This is easily one of the songs of the album right here and I love how the album just keeps building upon itself.
“Dead Reckoning” is another absolute jam that sounds like nothing else on the record. And the two closing songs “Better Have Burn Heal” & “Victory Road” deal about self/body hatred (“Better Have Burn Heal”), and one where different people will have different meanings (“Victory Road”). “Victory Road” stems from him trying to seek help and something leading him into somewhere. Maybe going to therapy? I don’t know, but either way it was a solid album closer.
To close, I just want to say that I’m so glad I sat down and listened to the whole thing. When I listen to it more I’ll start to notice things I missed when sitting down and writing this review, and I’m quite excited for that. This record should be at least a Top 5 record for me this year, if not AOTY. Thank you for reading, and hope you enjoy the record as much as I did.
Free Throw – Bear Your Mind
Release date: May 26, 2017 – Triple Crown Records
Rating: 10/10 – Craig Zombar
Replay Worthy: “Open Window”, “Randy, I Am The Liquor”, “Weak Tables”, “Andy And I, Uh…”, “Cal Ripken Jr. Johnson”, “Dead Reckoning”, & “Better Have Burn Heal”.
Buy it, Stream it, or Skip It?: Buy it. You’ll want to.