Koala’s Penultimate Throw pulls out all the stops with big licks of psychadellic rock

Words by Zakk Pea, writer and musician at Eccie The Dog and event organiser at Plot Twist

My first reaction upon hearing Koala’s new single Penultimate Throw was, “Bloody ‘ell there’s a lot goin’ on ‘ere!” You can imagine my surprise to discover Koala is formed of no more than three dudes. 

The bass guitar leads the rhythm with a familiar sound from the more groovy side of indie, with some heavy overdrive. Lead guitar gets involved in the rhythm when the track needs to get heavy but really shines towards the end with those big licks of psychedelic-rock. The drums are playful, they like to make an impression without turning into Neil Peart, that’s a great balance. 

On the chorus, you can feel the Black Sabbath influence from the drums but also the vocals. The vocals start very Arctic Monkeys and over the chorus get into that wailing Midlands sound from back when Ozzy still had the pipes. Overall the song really comes together in the crescendo, as one might expect, but it keeps pulling out new sounds. I even felt a little Kasabian come through with all the synthy and wavy guitars – it’s groovy as hell.

While perusing the press release, I discovered that this song, masquerading as a love song, is actually about addiction. They draw a comparison between addiction and a secret love affair, they approach the subject with compassion, but what I find so fascinating about the juxtaposition of addiction and love is they hit the nail on the head. We all have our addictions, from the big Class-A’s to biting your nails, but it is a popular theory that we pursue addictions in an attempt to fill a hole that should have been filled with love. People want to get out of their minds for a reason. I don’t know if that’s precisely what they meant, but I think it’s *chef’s kiss*, so if you’re gonna get out of your mind on anything, you’d better soundtrack it with this. 

Coming off the back of Ceramic and Don’t Want Your Money, you can listen to Penultimate Throw, released June 28, here:

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