Although Spirit Mane can be considered Toebow’s debut release, the band have performed around NYC for years. Toebow began to take shape as the dream-pop group BOBBY (formerly signed to Partisan) was disbanding. Originally conceived in 2013, the band has evolved from a casual guitar duo to a formidable five-piece band, featuring Martin Zimmermann (vocals, guitars, drums), Nate Ulsh (vocals, guitars), Charlie Kessinich (Drums, Guitars), Olenka Burgess (vocals, keys), and Jo-Anne Hyun (bass). Maia Friedman (Uni Ika Ai) lends her voice to these recordings.
Toebow (tō-bō) is not only a band; it is a state of mind and a world of its own. Toebow is playful and lighthearted, yet also severe — a progressive cartoon rock soundtrack forged from the inner goofs of the human soul. On Spirit Mane, guitars are swirling in fingerpicking patterns or they’re soaring through sky-scraping distorted leads, and drums are fluctuating from subtle insistent pulses to elaborate theme parks of paradiddles, which all sits atop warm layers of synthesizers and deep bass guitar. Co-produced with D. James Goodwin (Bob Weir, Kaki King, Whitney), quirky overdubs and surreal lyrics emphasize the feeling that you have entered into a bizarre yet nostalgic alternate reality.
“Starfucker,” the EP’s lead single, tells the story of a modern rock and roll archetype, that is, one of a fame-hungry midnight cowboy who abandons all ties to home and heads to the Big City determined to “make it” by saying, doing, or screwing anything. Sadly, things do not transpire as planned; the city is ruthless and quickly destroys Starf•cker’s sparkly visions of success. In the end, nobody falls for his flashy façade.
Brooklyn Vegan has the premiere.
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