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Album Reviews : Toehider – Good

By on October 7, 2017

When a band calls their album ‘Good’, the obvious question that arises when you listen to it is ‘does it live up to its title?’ The answer in the case of the newie from Melbourne prog masters Toehider is a resounding ‘no’. Good is not merely ‘good’, it is bloody sensational.

Main man Mike Mills has really excelled himself on this record. He has an uncanny knack of being able to show off his ingenious songwriting skills, virtuosic dexterity on his guitar and extreme vocal gymnastics to their fullest extent, but in a highly idiosyncratic manner that doesn’t take itself too seriously. This is classically and classic-prog influenced, tongue in cheek modern progressive rock that is just heaps of fun to listen to.

It’s easy to see why he gets hand-picked by the legendary Arjen Lucassen to contribute to his illustrious Ayreon project.

‘Good’ is such a wild ride, and there is so much going on from end to end, it’s hard to know where to start in describing its delights. Suffice it is to say that there is intense, dramatic rock, soaring melodies and insane vocal histrionics, riffs to die for, jazzy and Latin-jazz moments, acoustic interludes, sweet ambience and atmospherics, quirky but articulate and biting lyrics, musicianship and production of a ridiculously high-calibre and much, much more on offer here. All wrapped up in a rather easy on the ear package. It’s prog rock that truly puts a big cheesy smile on your dial.

It’s difficult to choose the best track from the wall to wall quality on ‘Good’, but I’m going to go for the mid-album epic How Do Ghosts Work. It is the album’s most intense and dramatic moment, its mid-paced main groove has freight train style momentum and the twists and turns it takes the listener on over the course of its eight-minute length are so compelling it makes his or her head spin.

‘Good’ is yet another glorious entry into the magnificent Australian progressive music canon.

Band: Toehider
Album: Good
Year: 2017
Genre: Rock
Label:  Bird’s Robe Records
Origin: Australia

About

Rod Whitfield is a Melbourne-based writer and retired musician who has been writing about music since 1995. He has worked for Team Rock, Beat Magazine, themusic.com.au, Heavy Mag, Mixdown, The Metal Forge, Metal Obsession and many others. He has written and published his memoirs of his life and times in the music biz, and also writes books, screenplays, short stories, blogs and more.