Throwdown – Vendetta
Release Date: June 28, 2005
Record Label: Trustkill
Tough guy hardcore is the brand that Throwdown has always played, and their newest effort Vendetta is no exception. Heavy on the breakdowns, light on the variety, Throwdown offers up just under 40 minutes of chugga-chugga hardcore. Before we get any further, lets just clearly establish that Throwdown does sound nearly identical to Hatebreed. At times, the music seems so derivative that you have to check to see what’s actually playing. Fortunately, Hatebreed is a good band to mimic if you’re going to pick a hardcore band to follow. While most of the songs sound the same, there are a few spots on the record that really stand out from the rest. “Burn” is a ripping track that ignites with the sound of a match being struck. Double bass pedals set off a driving bass with passionate screams that make it virtually impossible to not nod your head to. The unfortunate thing is, that basically describes the entire record. Most of the songs chug along through a verse, have some sort of pre-chorus, then the tempo slows for a big chorus. You know what, though? I like it, and so should you. It is what it is, methodical, driving hardcore.
Vendetta has little to no variation to it. While I understand that part of this is the style of music, it still grows monotonous. However, this doesn’t occur until track 7 or 8, so the record is more than worth sticking out until then. There are plenty of things that Throwdown does right. First off, they really nail the chugga-chug style of hardcore, with tons of breakdowns, interludes, and heavy choruses. I really enjoy the timing of the fills and breakdowns on this record. The other thing that’s nice about Throwdown is how they manage to have completely comprehendible lyrics despite the constant screaming. The vocals are low and guttural, but still clearly distinguishable. The lyrics themselves aren’t anything to write home about, pretty typical east coast hardcore material. Lots of references to sacrifice, rage, and “fighting for your life” are present. It’s in no way a bothersome, as it fits the music just fine.
Trustkill has been taking some flak recently for some of their releases, but I think Throwdown’s latest effort is a worthy one, especially for fans of Hatebreed and east coast hardcore. You won’t find much variation, but that’s to be expected in a way. I found this to be a very enjoyable record that actually had a decent amount of lasting value. The one glaring flaw that really brings down this album’s score is that there is seriously no change in tempo on the whole CD, not to mention that it seems every song is in the same key. It’s a perfect album to put on when you’re in the mood to smash some shit up, but as an every day record it’s lacking in more ways than one. It’s not going to get tons of critical acclaim from anybody, but my recommendation is to check Throwdown out and decide for yourself. If nothing else, you can punch a wall after the mood it puts you in.