Album Review: Free Throw – Bear Your Mind

Musicians tend to have differing ideologies on what their music represents or what the end goal is. Some set off with crafting an album that speaks to people about their deepest, most inner thoughts, eventually creating a connection with the listener, letting them know they aren’t alone. Others aim for the joy and bliss of creating something fun and energetic that can simply be rocked out to or blasted loudly on stage. Whatever the reason may be, it differs based on the musicians’ ideology, but one thing that is for certain is that no matter the musician, they would all love for their albums to be hailed as a pinnacle of the genre. After all, knowing that your heart and soul was poured into a piece of art and so many people fell in love with it offers a level of satisfaction many can’t begin to imagine. Nashville emo / indie rock outfit Free Throw have surely reached a level of happiness with themselves after critical acclaim showered upon them with their debut album Those Days Are Gone. Fast forward three years and the band is back with their first attempt at one-upping themselves with Bear Your Mind and after multiple listens, it’s clear that they’ve struck gold twice.

[tw-toggle title=”About Free Throw”]
Genre: Emo | Indie Rock
Label: Triple Crown Records
Release: May 26, 2017
Connect: Facebook | Twitter
Purchase: iTunes | Google Play

The driving force for many albums as of late has been to maintain a level of cohesion while also retaining the same detailed level of free-flowing lyricism and musicality. It’s in this direction that Free Throw have crafted their sophomore album as Bear Your Mind hits all the right notes from the easy-going instrumentation that is backed up with hard hitting lyrics, tugging at the heartstrings and emotions of everyone that gives the album a chance. The reality of it is that the album as a whole fits immaculately within the context of the album title as everything is laid out in front of the listener, with the bands soul essentially naked as songs about being drunk at noon and family issues twist and curve their way into the inner doldrums of peoples’ ears. By baring their soul to the world, it not only makes the passion ooze through the speakers, it adds layers of relatability and a level of fragility and realness to something that tends to be thought of as purely entertainment.

Free Throw – “Randy, I Am The Liquor” (Official Audio)

Free Throw – “Randy, I Am The Liquor” from the album Bear Your Mind order now – connect with Free Throw

With such praise of realness, one may begin to ask themselves what distinctly separates Free Throw from simply being just another emo band with heartbreak, despair and personal problems at the forefront of their minds? The response lies within the differing approaches that are taken throughout the whole of Bear Your Mind as it’s presented in a way that catches listeners attention and varies the overall sound. Take for example the bouncy, energetic punk-esque style presented on “Rinse. Repeat” or the easy going, shimmering “Hope Spot”, which comes across equal parts indie rock and acoustic. These moments differ from track to track adding in a variety that makes Bear Your Mind feel just as much indie rock as it does emo, with tinges of other genres throughout.  It’s an album that relies less on hooks and flash in the pan moments, instead opting for moments that complement each other to keep the free-flowing cohesion at the forefront.

While many may take the album for face value upon first listen, there’s much more to Bear Your Mind than simply being “just another emo album”. There’s the core foundation in sound that Free Throw have built upon over their EPs and debut album, but they’ve also branched out into other areas, bringing with it a style that plays well with other influences. This approach should easily pay dividends in the future as it opens up an avenue with a different audience while remaining true to who they are, resulting in an album that not only matches their debut, but quite possibly succeeds it.

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