toe is a Japanese music group long revered in post-rock circles, while their song structures and dynamics have taken on elements from all styles of music, ranging from math-rock, jazz, pop, and R&B.
toe is composed of Kashikura Takashi on drums, Mino Takaaki on guitar, Yamane Satoshi on bass guitar, and Yamazaki Hirokazu on guitar. The band has formally played with this lineup since their inception in 1998.
The vast majority of the music is instrumental and features the swift, agile drumming of Takashi. The band is also known for melodic, clean guitar, often employing the juxtaposition of electric and acoustic. While the compositions feature the repetition of typical rock motifs, the subtle changes in beat and rhythm form a unique rhythmic dialect. The band has consistently expanded their sound throughout their musical tenure by incorporating singing, rhodes piano, mallet percussion, and electronic production elements.
toe tours regularly in Japan, and they can most notably be compared to acts such as Pele and The Album Leaf. Their newest record, Our Latest Number, was released in 2018 on Topshelf Records.
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"The thing that's always set toe apart from its technically minded peers is its ability to tell short, concise stories — ecstatic, noodly, complex pop songs that unfold in less than five minutes."
"Clear channel guitar (Mino Takaaki and Yamazaki Hirokazu) that is as fluid and beautiful as running water yet as precise as machinery, bass (Yamane Satoshi) that runs deep and strong like veins beneath the skin of the songs, and wildly brilliant percussion (Kashikura Takashi) which goes back and forth between busy and intricate to mellow and minimal."
"...a huge body of work full of complex melodies and thoughtful songwriting, it has more than enough for older fans to get their teeth into, yet is also accessible enough for those just beginning to dip their “toe” into the huge lake that is post-rock and the associated genres"
"Toe continues pushing the already nebulous boundaries of post-rock with apparent ease."
"Progressively intricate and aggressively delicate; toe provides listeners with twisted instrumentals fantastic for an in-depth listen, or stimulating background noise."
-Surviving the Golden Age
"Well worth the wait, "For Long Tomorrow" is a compelling listen that retains the phenomenally played, complex arrangements of its predecessor, but sees Toe expanding their sound to incorporate a much stronger postrock feel. Densely packed with many different textures “Our Next Movement” flirts with experimental funk while “Say It Ain’t So” is pure soul.