Naked Raygun-Throb Throb

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Pressing on Haunted Town

From its onset, the tube-crunch surf guitar intro of Rat Patrol, Throb Throb sizzles like grease in a frying pan until it comes to a halt some 30 minutes later. Like the tank on its cover, Throb is largely informed by an antagonism that rails against the Reaganism that helped spawn intelligent '80s post-punk groups much like Naked Raygun. Titles like Surf Combat, a song about the effects of napalm at popular beaches, Gear, a braggadocio commentary about nuclear weapons and the arms race, and Managua, in which troops march to their impending death, exemplify Throb's political mentality and musical gravity, which are a direct result of the '80s Cold War. Naked Raygun sends the songs up with a sense-raping frazzle and dissonance. While not as furious as Husker Du or as angry as the Misfits, Throb is no less vehement, and ever the more working-class. With comprehensible lyrics everyone can understand and chant, and a plethora of race-against-time guitar melodies, Throb is rare in that it appeals to academics as well as rednecks, straight-shooters as well as in-the-know punks. Borrowing from the big-guitar sound of English heavy metal bands like Iron Maiden and carving catchy melodies usually reserved for Top 40 pop songs into firebrands like I Don't Know and Libido, Naked Raygun assures Throb's place as a classic that is forever ahead of its time, regardless of when it is heard. ~ Bob Gendron