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Toe - The Future is Now EP REVIEW

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Just a bit of writing I put together the last couple of nights. I took a stab at reviewing a great set of songs just released.
Check out my blog if you'd like to hear more. Daydream In Harmony

Toe – The Future Is Now EP [2012] -- 9/10
Toe is a Japanese math rock band that has put out mostly instrumental releases. However, they’ve been known to have some songs recorded with vocals—usually Japanese and usually quite hushed and non-dominating. Instead of having traditional vocal structures implemented, toe consistently relies on their expertly orchestrated instrumentation to transport the listener to their creative world. The signature sound that toe brings is highlighted by innovative and often surprising songwriting in addition to impressive instrumental ability, both backed by superlative production quality.
(Only 1 video allowed in a blog at TPG)
Toe -
The balanced production cues on the instrumentation for The Future Is Now really brings forth toe’s songwriting, engaging the listener to hear the intricate melodies the guitars provide. The drum beats which lead the songs are generally fast-paced and frantic, yet rather fluid and still follow a clear pattern which provides as a spine for the progression of the songs. Toe frequently let the songs build and tease before letting the songs erupt into a powerful climax which leaves the listener satisfied. This technique is found on “Ordinary Days” before the song simmers down to segue into the final track. On Future highlight “Tsuki Kake” the song snakes around fluttering percussion and travels through elegant acoustic guitar phrases, trotting bells, and even a synthesizer melody while female vocalist Aco provides an emotion-filled swoon. The song feels like a story being told despite the repetitive lyrics from the foreign vocals.

The most impressive effort is found on the grand finale title track, however. Right off the bat, the fuse is lit with a complex counter-melody from the guitarists, and the song just keeps building and moving forward until exploding into a perfect climax at the last minute marker before smoldering to a finish. The last sound on the EP is from tired fingers sliding off a fret board.
The Future Is Now took me on journey that was fast-paced, explosive, and even melancholic. I constantly admired the instrumentation. The percussion is played with intent and ferocity, and the dual guitars were played synergetically, bouncing off each other and at times providing intricate counter-melodies. The beautiful clarity that the instruments were recorded with definitely adds to the overall effect. The EP comes highly recommended because it's completely satisfying and demands replays.

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