Milan/London experimental band Throw Down Bones released new LP last week on Fuzz Club Records. A towering body of work that feels both apocalyptic and jubilant, Three is Throw Down Bones’ eagerly-awaited return following 2018’s Two and the tragic passing of founding member Dave Cocks in a motorcycle accident in 2019.
Choosing to continue the band in honour of the late Cocks, in February 2020, surviving Throw Down Bones co-founder Vanni returned to London’s New River Studios with James Aparicio and a new band in tow, made up of bassist Marion Andrau and drummer Raphael Mura. Working in the studio with the new band for the first time, several hours of improvised recordings were captured over the course of those early New River sessions, which were then expanded and pieced together between Aparicio in London and Vanni in Milan.
Describing Three and its intentions, Vanni says: “This album tries to reverse the usual band-listener interaction. We hold no truth and we’re not willing to serve any universal answers to anything. Instead, we question the listener who, according to their experiences and sensitivity, will find a reply for themselves. That’s the role of instrumental music and why we love it so much. It brings the listener to the centre of the project, giving them an active role in translating music into meaning. Every single note in this album is dedicated to our brother Dave Cocks.”
They open with a snippet of an intro before moving into ‘Half Life’, and industrial laden track with a dark ambience that oozes menace and yet makes you want to dance in seemingly the same beat. ‘Optichrome’, explains Vannis is “named after a series of works from Felipe Pantone called ‘Optichromie’. It’s a song where we blend really different ‘intentions’ and probably contains both the hardest riff and the sweetest melody of the whole album.” The track gets off to a slow start, but the heavy electronics soon take over and a motorik beat powers the track through. ‘The Holy Mountain Still Shines’ has a title that links back to their self-titled seminal debut, yet it’s faster pace and all together fuller sound show the journey the musicians have been on. ‘Loma’ is an aural assault from the opening beat and the intensity doesn’t let up. Pulling you deep into the track, the bands potency is stronger than ever.
‘Breathe Memories’ offers soothing, ethereal harmonies juxtaposed with organised electronic chaos and ‘M.F. Heaven’ is one to enjoy on full volume. ‘Signal to Noise’ is perhaps the rawest offering, with elements competing for your attention throughout. Its also the one with the most powerful hook that you’ll be humming for days. Concluding ‘The Guidance’ is what the band do best, and the perfect track to make you want to start the experience of Three all over again.
Three is unmistakably Throw Down Bones and despite overcoming huge psychological and practical difficulties, have produced a powerfully striking record. A tribute and a triumph, in every sense.