toe – ‘Hear You’ Review

Posted: by Sean Gonzalez

This is an album I had no idea would hold this much weight and move me as much as it has. toe is the mathy-post-rock group from Japan that has shaken fans to their core with powerful instrumentals ranging from highly simplistic to overly complex. Hear You is their brand new LP, being released from Topshelf Records.

Reviewing as many albums as a man within this job does, at times it can be hard to grow attached to a record immediately. Honestly, I have listened to nothing but this record for almost an entire day now. This has warranted in about nine repeated listens, every single time finding more joy and pleasure in the 11 track journey. The opening two tracks (which feature the same musical motif) showcase how delicate their music can sound, but that is just the surface. The drums are intricately designed but never take away from the somber nature. It is kind of like how the movie Birdman was done, with most of the music being connected by one continuous drum line. Of course, there are times when the drums barely stir the musical pot, like most of ‘Boyo,’ which has winding guitars taking the spotlight instead.

Next time you can’t sleep, play ‘Song Silly’ and feel the melancholy vibe calm the thoughts troubling you. The keyboards and vocals are flimsy, feeling as if the listener is floating alongside the tune. This same mood is found again on ‘オトトタイミングキミト,’ a song that discovers more air to sway through.

Still feeling worried about something in life? Take a drive. Take this record with you as your partner. The music of a song like ‘My Little Wish’ offers a backdrop for contemplating all the solutions to a problem in a focused and abrasive manner. As the rest of the world leaves you confined to your cars windows, the music opens the channels and synapses for the deepest of connections to be made. Go for a run. Let the pace of ‘Commit Ballad’ or ‘The World According To’ flow through your body like blood to your heart. 

What a closing track too. ‘Because I Hear You’ is a sweeping embrace of serene melodies matched with a smooth drum line. toe offer the world a 40 minute album filled to the brink with talent and control over emotions. The songs grab ahold of you and get involved with your own feelings, creating a bond between listener and composer. Hear You is easily one of my favorite records I have heard all year. To rate it would be biased, but take your own chance at deciding what this album can do for you.

Pick up the album here: