TOADS, THE- In The Wilderness LP
Nationalsville' opens the album, a rollicking toe-tapper of jaunty riffs, sprightly bass bounce and drums that get the blood pumping. Singer Miles' relentless observations spool through the song stitching together a glammy rush of monotony. 'Tale of a Town Split in Two' takes a similar approach, hooky yet melodic, with the vocal delivery racing in hot pursuit. 'Two Dozen Functions' is equally upbeat, with brawling guitars and vocal line that saws it's way through. 'Wandering Soul' and 'The Next Door' offer some breathing space as ruminative vignettes, whilst 'Sir Francis Drake' shimmers with shambling charm. 'Ex-KGB' is a more plaintive mid-tempo shuffle, a downcast moment of reflection that unfurls into grandeur ultimately.
It's fitting that the title track 'In The Wilderness' draws this record to a close, being the peak of their invention so far. Drums pound and tumbling bass-lines sprint among the crisply stabbing guitar phrases and soaring horns outro. It's a survivalist epic of hard-worn wisdom, ambling and restless. "I open up the door trying to get all of us through" sings Miles, becoming progressively more dizzy and despondent. There is a sense of toughing it out that never falters though and this is the essence of what The Toads do best. They push onwards into the darkness and keep their appetite, pulling us all into the light.
The Toads' 'In the Wilderness' will be out June 9th through Upset The Rhythm and Anti Fade Records.