Album review: Free Throw – What’s Past Is Prologue

On their new LP, Free Throw hold nothing back. 

Free Throw are back with their third full length release, What’s Past Is Prologue out now via Triple Crown Records.

Past releases may have provided small glimpses into Free Throw’s history as a band and personal lives outside of music, but What’s Past is Prologue is the group at their most forthcoming. The twelve tracks contained on the album detail the continuing mental health struggles of lead singer Cory Castro, and serve as a complete story of what happens when you decide that everything in your life needs to change.

“This album is very much about me hitting rock bottom from a mental health standpoint and the process I took in building myself back up,” Castro explained. “With the last record, I was trying to talk about my mental health, but at the time I was actually going through it. The last album felt like I was yelling from the void. This time I’m looking back into the void and I’m able to understand what was going on.”

It’s great to see that across the record, Free Throw don’t just offer a reflection what struggles with mental health and addiction feels like but also that there is a way through, a light at the end of tunnel so to speak. This slight change in direction also shows in Castro’s screams being softer while still maintaining the very intensity that’ll give you goosebumps and will have you sing along to all the hooks on the record.

The Corner’s Dilemma focuses on social anxiety and self-awareness in bigger crowds, and drowning it all with alcohol and in turn watching it all slip away. “Sometimes I think I’ve wasted my whole lifeChasing my pipe dreams with shots and a whole lot of beer / A part of me figures there’s no fight left in the shell of a person I became this year.”

On What’s Past Is Prologue, Free Throw refine their sound and deliver a record that is as good as modern emo gets. The riffs are smoother but still pack a punch and every single track holds a melody that will translate extremely well into a live setting, and will have their fans quickly pick new live favorites from this record.

One of those is likely to be Today Is Especially Delicious as it features fuzzy guitar riffs that just scream for mosh pit action and lyrics that beg to be shouted out loud. On other sides of the spectrum, parts of the record are a hint softer, like the pop-punk heavy tune The Fix Is In. 

The record finishes off with its title track, and it’s a perfect fit. The up-beat melodies are, for once, not a disguise for sad lyrics. Instead, it’s a positive anthem about recovery. “For the first time in 4 months I can say, I didn’t think about my choices, threw the almost empty pack away. I can feel my lungs rejoice, I’m finally breathing again” are the last lyrics on the record, and what a beautiful theme to leave the listener on.

As a group, Free Throw has consistently turned their darkest days into moments that fans can sing and dance-along to, and for the first time, the band has arrived at this place where it’s all coming together, and maybe this is really only just the beginning. “This is the first Free Throw record with a happy ending,” Castro said. “The album leads to an ending of where the band stands today. We’re all happy to be doing what we’re doing, and it’s kind of the happy moment where we’ve become the band we were always meant to be.”