Throttlerod – Starve the Dead – Review


Starve the Dead (Small Stone)
by Brian Varney

Looking to rock’s illustrious past for inspiration, Throttlerod have decided to follow in the footprints created during the journey undertaken by Led Zeppelin’s creation of its third album, and later followed by Alice In Chains while making stopgap EPs Sap and Jar of Flies. This limited-edition five-song EP finds Throttlerod backing off from the full-on riff-rock pummel of their previous two releases in favor of a quieter, more emotionally complex stance. Though billed as an acoustic release, the guitar strings being strummed here are mostly attached to guitars plugged into electric amplifiers, and a song like the title track is an unabashed loud rocker. However, even during this EP’s loudest moments, there is a moody, reflective quality that distances it from the pounding rock of the band’s previous albums. It’s not some experimental abandonment of the band’s foundations, but rather a broadening of its palette, a chance to introduce new shades and tools into the band’s arsenal. These weary-sounding songs have been the stock-in-trade of classic rock bands as long as classic rock has existed – see tracks like “Sick as a Dog” from Aerosmith’s Rocks or “Borderline” from Thin Lizzy’s Johnny the Fox, just to name a couple that immediately leap to mind. It’s my hope that Throttlerod, having gotten a good handle on this sort of songwriting during the creation of Starve the Dead, will continue to occasionally dabble with these new tools when making future albums, perhaps synthesizing them into the band’s already impressive rock arsenal to create something newer and also more timeless.