Toehider – To Hide Her Review

Though the band have been around for a little while now, this is the first I had heard of them and honestly the album just stunned the crap out...

Released By : Bird’s Robe Records

Genre : Progressive Rock, Experimental, Art Rock

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1. Oh My God He’s An Idiot!

2. The Most Popular Girl In School

3. Daddy Issues

4. in This Time

5. To Hide Her

6. There’s A Ghost In The Lake

7. Giants Who Walk With Man

8. Fireside

9. Everybody Knows Amy

10. Weren’t They Just Playing Out Near The Swings?

As a music reviewer, I am lucky enough to be in a situation where bands, artists and record labels alike actually care about, and want to know what I think if their music. This puts me in a great spot where I am constantly flooded with new music to listen to and get to discover a lot of up and coming talent that most people haven’t heard of yet for one reason or another. Okay, so I get stuck listening to some crappy stuff sometimes, but every now and then I get to hear something really great too. I must admit though, It’s been a long time since I’ve been genuinely excited about hearing a band for the first time. You know that kind of excited when you hear something and you immediately know it’s one of the best things you’ve ever heard? Yeah, well that’s exactly what happened to me when I first listened to TO HIDE HER, the first full-length album release from Melbourne-based art rock group TOE HIDER.

Though the band have been around for a little while now, this is the first I had heard of them and honestly the album just stunned the crap out of me. It’s impossible to pin these guys down to a certain style or sound, which I guess makes them either a progressive rock group or an art rock act, It’s not that they try to incorporate different styles and sounds into certain songs, rather that they actually write individual songs that fit into different genres, and they’re bloody good at it too. At the helm of this operation is Mike Mills who previously ran TOEHIDER as a one man operation basically recording all of the instruments and most of the vocals on the previous E.P’s as well as being the main songwriter and composer…..Now I don’t throw this sort of thing around very often but I really think this guy is a bit of a musical genius, I also think he is a truly amazing lyricist. Mills has since turned TOEHIDER into a fully-fledged band and in the process has recruited some real talent with Lachlan B on guitar, Amy Campbell kicking ass on the bass and believe it or not former SOILWORK drummer Ricky Evensand who has recently relocated to live permanently in Australia.

Opening track OH MY GOD HE’S AN IDIOT is a minimalistic song musically and features an emotive vocal and a great lyric sung in first person to a girl that is stuck with someone that doesn’t appreciate her as much as he would if he had a chance….Yeah it sounds cheesy the way I’ve described it, but it’s really not. THE MOST POPULAR GIRL IN SCHOOL has a bit of a power pop feel to it, but the you get these monstrous choruses that will remind you of the overdubbed choir sound made popular by QUEEN, then there’s also a jazz-fusion inspired bridge section that comes complete with an xylophone solo! DADDY ISSUES is a bit of an Indie Rock sounding tune with a great prog rock undertone, maybe reminiscent of MARRILLION. The band change things up immensely with IN THIS TIME which is more acoustic folk-rock with a very Aussie campfire feel to it. TO HIDE HER has a modern alt. rock feel to it and gives the band an opportunity to bring the heavy out…complete with guitar squeals and Flea-like funky bass lines. THERE’S A GHOST IN THE LAKE is a haunting goth-rock inspired track with a FISH era MARILLION vocal approach. GIANTS WHO WALK WITH MAN once again reminds me a lot of MARILLION, but with a slight modern feel and more QUEEN like vocal overdubs. On FIRESIDE the band bring the acoustic guitars back, with a very Australiana feeling song that is sort of a combination of John Williams and Paul Kelly…really great lyrics in this one too! EVERYBODY KNOWS AMY has a modern pop punk feel to it and this one’s all about fun, complete with a comedic lyric and all. Closing track WEREN’T THEY JUST PLAYING OUT NEAR THE SWINGS is an odd one, it’s not really a song at all, just a haunting, brooding collection of noises but it really sounds pretty cool.

TOEHIDER are one of my new favourite bands, and while I am yet to delve into their previous releases, twelve E.P’s, each of a different style, recorded and releases once a month for a year which have since been condensed into two albums I am hoping to bring you all a review of that collection sometime soon in the future… for now though, please go and check this band out. With such a vast amount of influences and styles obviously they’re not for everyone, but if you like interesting music and bands that are willing to push the boundaries then you need to go and grab a copy of TO HIDE HER right now, this one of the best albums of 2011 by a long way!

Written By ZeeZee

Rating : 10/10

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Photo Credit: Ange Cobham / Cobspix Photography

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