Releasing tomorrow on October 19th, the aptly named new album from Mike Mills’ Toehider is not just “Good” it’s great! But that’s to be expected of Mike as he’s continued to push the envelope in the prog genre in weird and interesting ways.
Mike’s early work under the name Toehider consisted of twelve EPs that he completed in twelve months. Quite a demanding schedule that only someone as crazy and driven as Mike could accomplish. I first really started following Toehider around when he crowdfunded his last album, What Kind of Creature Am I?, on the Australian crowdfunding site Pozible (look it up, the pitch video is comedy gold!) It was a successful campaign, though there’s a strange story regarding my pledge reward (a signed copy of the CD). I don’t know if some guys at customs thought it would be a good joke, or something more shady happened, but someone replaced my CD with packets of Penicillin before it reached my house. I was able to get a replacement sent, which arrived safely, and whoever stole the CD has now been introduced to Toehider, so… win/win? I actually made an Anime Music Video with one of the songs on that album, “Smash It Out”, using the Anime FLCL (which Mike thought was cool!) so I was quite excited for this new album.
“Good” starts out with the title track, a sort of introduction to the album explaining the name, and goes right into “[funnythings]” with a nice heavy riff. If you really pay attention to the lyrics, you’ll realize how bizarre they are, but that’s what makes it great. Mike’s high vocal range goes all over the place with his sometimes operatic style. The goofy vocals on top of the more serious instrumentals create a strange contrast, but that’s what makes Toehider unique. They’re not afraid to do something just because it might sound silly, in fact, doing it because it sounds silly.
“This Conversation Is Over” changes the tone a bit and is the first single released for the album along with a music video that showcases the amazing artwork of Andrew Saltmarsh, who has been the artist for all of Toehider’s albums and EPs. This song has some nice orchestral backing that really adds to the intensity. That intensity continues with “Millions of Musketeers”, which features some really fast and heavy riffs.
Next up is the longest song on the album, “How Do Ghosts Work?”, which is an interesting song that touches on the question in its title. Following that, “Dan vs. Egg” is an odd acoustic song leading us into the strangest part of the album with the funky “I’ve Been So Happy Living down Here in the Water” and the manic “It’s So Fikkis!” to close things off.
I recommend this album to anyone tired of prog bands always doing the same thing who are open to something a little out there. Mike’s unique style isn’t for everyone, but give it a chance and don’t take it too seriously, it certainly doesn’t. So hit play, surrender your mind, and succumb to the power of the Fikkis!
A promo copy of the album was used for this review.
Release date: 19 October 2017
1. “Good” – 1:17
2. [funnythings] – 6:10
3. This Conversation Is Over – 4:30
4. Millions of Musketeers – 4:35
5. How Do Ghosts Work? – 8:01
6. Dan vs. Egg – 3:07
7. I’ve Been So Happy Living down Here in the Water – 5:28
8. It’s So Fikkis! – 4:29
Total running time: 37:37
Mike Mills – everything except “This Conversation is Over”, which has Thom Mann on drums and Nick Delaney on bass, and was also mixed by Nick Delaney.
Filetype listened to: FLAC
Bitrate: 24 bit
Sampling frequency: 96,000 Hz, 2 channels