I don’t know how to write about this Free Throw album. Compared to what I’ve been listening to on What’s Past Is Prologue, every word I type just reads as underdeveloped and surface level. How do you write about an album that’s so much better than you in every way?
The album follows lead singer Cory Castro’s journey with depression, alcohol, losing passion, and recovery. And sometimes songs that try to deliver a message about getting better or seeking help can come across as forced — I personally skip over “Neon Gravestones” by Twenty One Pilots because it always strikes me as a little preachy and cheesy. But man… Free Throw nailed it on every track. I don’t feel like they’re telling me how they think I should fix myself; it feels more like trusted friends trading stories.
Despite not having gone through the exact same situations as Cory, I still pick out moments that do resonate with me. It feels cathartic to hear someone else yelling about my feelings, and I feel honoured to listen to him sing about the ones I haven’t lived through. I exist in a constant state of convincing myself my problems aren’t real and I’m being a dramatic baby. Hearing someone else put it into words and say “yeah I feel this too”… it’s a feeling money can’t buy.
It’s hard to even pick out favourite moments on this record because each song plays such an integral part in the story. Not including the singles, I think my favourites so far are “Anaconda Vice” and “The Fix is In”. The bridge in the latter song is… I don’t even want to explain it to you, I just want you to hear it for yourself. But I love the way it’s structured and the feeling I get while listening to it. PLUS the lyric I included below… how many times have I thought this?
In hindsight, how the fuck did I not think of any of this at all before?
“The Fix is In” – Free Throw
The title track hits home for me, as I’m sure it does for a lot of people. I highly recommend just reading through the lyrics while you listen so they really sink in.
I had a really rough year in 2018. It’s been a long climb back from the bottom (insert photo of John Winchester climbing out of Hell) but I’ve been proud of my progress, both physically and mentally. My autoimmune diseases are more controlled. I’m going to therapy. I’m making choices that keep me healthier instead of neglecting myself to care for everyone else.
But I look back and I wonder how I didn’t notice the dire situation I was in while I was in it. It’s been constant work to continue making progress and recovering. Listening to this Free Throw album made me actually feel like I’ve accomplished something, like I can just be satisfied knowing I’m on the right path. As Cory said, the past is prologue. Tomorrow is a new day.