Two years before Free Throw formed in Nashville, the Memphis Grizzlies made national headlines for their â€œgrit and grind.â€ Some not familiar with basketball may assume this was another phrase describing the teamâ€™s tireless work ethic. Journalists and analysts claimed this â€œgrit and grindâ€ was their disruptive defense. A free throw is usually given to a player disrupted by defense — so while unintentionally borrowing the ethos of their home stateâ€™s NBA franchise, Free Throw went on the offensive.
Consider the bandâ€™s signature play: a three-guitar attack which stacks raw immediacy with large-scale aspirations. Sometimes this arrangement is abrasive; other times itâ€™s more nuanced. What connects these two different threads is Cory Castroâ€™s frayed vocals, gaining their power from a violent shout and their confessions from a measured whimper. Combine that range with a set of lyrical themes that play out like an uneasy three-way phone call and what remains fills speakers with a darkness offset by instrumentals which sway and bend with warm nostalgia.
But what fills most of Free Throwâ€™s golden playbook is a commitment to winning their own way. After strings of DIY touring circuits and an intense love affair with their van, itâ€™s clear to see their blooming, road-tested legacy answers to no one but their enthusiastic audiences. With their live sets packing rooms across the country, not without alcohol and crowd sing-alongs in tow, it seems this grind has paid off so far, with the grit packing their songs with not just unrelenting talent, but the forward-thinking energy to match.