Free Throw released their brilliant new album, Bear Your Mind, on May 26th via Triple Crown Records.
After seeing Free Throw open for You Blew It! back in February, I suddenly had an unexpected amount of interest in their record to come. I’ve never really cared for any of Free Throw’s releases prior to Bear Your Mind, but when I heard “Hope Spot” live and patiently awaited its release, I knew this album would likely stick with me.
Free Throw’s sound is more polished and distinct in a way that redefined my appreciation for their last album, Those Days Are Gone. “Open Window” starts the album off on a mellow note, reeling listeners’ attention into the story being sung which leads up to Free Throw’s full sound by the end of the song. It was quickly apparent that this is an album that truly needs to be heard with one’s undivided attention. Bear Your Mind is sonically very pleasing, but the storytelling visuals, the questioning of self-worth, and the overall mental health struggles that are outlined in the lyrics make the instrumentals with which they’re paired hold more weight. Every time I hit play on this album I end up stopping whatever I’m doing to give these songs the same attention I would a movie or book.
Listening to Bear Your Mind feels equivalent to a close friend admitting to the negative thoughts and feelings they’ve kept bottled up, or diving into someone’s journal filled with words that were never meant to meet the eyes of the reader. It’s the opening up of a seemingly closed off person. Each song is like jumping from one thought cloud, feeling or memory to the next one as listeners explore deeply personal subject matter that many are sure to find solace in. Once the album dropped, it appeared that “Andy And I, Uh…” became a fast fan favorite, one that I’m sure fans hope to hear on the band’s current tour.
These songs seem to be a conscious analysis of one’s mental and emotional state of being. Whether it be confessing insecurities or singing of not-so-ideal coping mechanisms while trying to search for better ones, the lyricist seems desperate to escape from the thoughts and feelings that have been controlling them. Feeling stuck in place is a recurring theme throughout this record which is what makes “Victory Road” one of my favorite album closers of all time. The whole track feels like it’s building to something massive. The lyrics are a vividly detailed story, so much so that when the album ends at the peak of the crescendo I felt like I was left with a cliffhanger. I was so invested in the words being sung and the instrumentals building up that I was anticipating what would happen next, but instead the song abruptly ends, leaving listeners to feel ‘stuck in place,’ like we’re on the brink of transformation, but don’t know how to achieve it. A sudden ending that conveys the feeling of everything being expressed on Bear Your Mind.
This record is oozing with passion that is sure to be displayed in Free Throw’s live performances. Free Throw is currently on tour with Homesafe and Heart Attack Man which you can find dates and tickets for at freethrowband.com/tour.