Yeah, yeah, you’ve heard it before, but in this case it just happens to be true. Throw Rag is more than just a rock n roll band. Throw Rag are rock n roll! But let’s be clear about something here; rock n roll, although essentially a thing of great beauty, is on whole, rather smelly and sweaty and dirty and will leave you with a hangover and a suspicious looking rash if you wake up with it the next day. Rock n Roll doesn’t care; it is its job not to care. So don’t even think about complaining. For what it’s worth, Throw Rag formed about ten years ago in Salton Sea, the heart of the California Desert, the Mecca for all the worlds’ tweakers and crazies. That in itself says a lot about the band. But you probably didn’t see them back then and you almost certainly wouldn’t have liked them. Far removed from the band they are today, Throw Rag were an excuse for nudity and carnage, with music (a kind of acoustic hillbilly punk thing) as more of an afterthought. People came to see them in the same way they’ll rubberneck a car wreck, people, who as vocalist Captain Sean Wheeler noted “appreciated someone dying in front of them more or less”. Venues were less impressed and banned Throw Rag. But hell, what self-respecting rock n roll band hasn’t been banned from somewhere. And let’s not forget, Throw Rag are rock n roll.
Sure, you can look for influences and it won’t be too hard to find them. Throw Rags’ first album ‘Tee Tot’ retained some of the country, hillbilly twang of old, but had an underlying Cramps vibe. Songs like ‘Demons In A Row’ and ‘Beast In Me’ are seeped in the pain and catharsis that is life, the musical equivalent of Bukowski and Hunter S Thompson on that final screaming blowout. But with that pain is an understanding that this might be as good as it gets, so you may as well enjoy it. Throw Rag are that moment after a painful break up when you suddenly stop wallowing in self-pity and dive back into life and do something you’ll probably regret but which nonetheless feels so right now. Sure, your heart’s still in tatters, but you’ll live so you may as well enjoy it. We’re at our most dangerous in that moment, but also at our most alive.
The long awaited reissue of ‘Tee Tot’ will take place in June 2008 along with “2nd Place” produced by Cameron Webb (notable other works include an album for the Grammy Award winning Motorhead). 2nd Place is their finest work to date.
Jacko once said that the scariest thing he ever saw was a video of his own band – “like, why didn’t somebody stop me!” Well, you looked like you were having such a good time! The fact is, you don’t have to understand any of this to understand or enjoy Throw Rag, but it certainly helps. Treat them as a party band and live vicariously through them if that’s what you need, but never forget that like any truly great rock n roll band, Throw Rag have no choice because rock n roll isn’t just a way of life. Rock n roll is life. And Throw Rag are rock n roll.