Toke - Orange Black Bars Edition (LP) (BLACK CLEAR BLACK W/ ORANGE SPLATTER)
Black Bars Edition limited to 250
There just has to be something about living in the South that makes you understand swing, groove, timing or "feel". Some folks are born with natural rhythm and it seems like second nature, a mere afterthought. Others train themselves meticulously to metronomes and calculated foot tapping. Toke; hailing from North Carolina fall seismically in the first camp.
When I hear "North Carolina" my immediate thought is Weedeater, and when I hear the band name "Toke" my immediate thought is "well, I'll be damned". That thought is heard in my head with a southern drawl. A lazy, laid-back southern lilt of inflection that coaxes one into a natural state of ease, ready to hear more from that friendly Southern inner voice. That's when the opening riff from "Orange" fires up and its glowing heat draws you further in. Solidified by natural and solid drumming this experience just keeps on warming up. Definitely more of a guitar-oriented affair in comparison to something akin to Weedeater, where bass is the star at the frequency buffet, Toke seamlessly blends the precise amount of head crushing, belly thumping riffs with greasy, bluesy lead breaks and melody. The vocalists timbre and range can only be described as an old rotary phone echoing through the silence somewhere in the desolate woods.
This band has struck a balance between tried and true classic archetypes within this genre and has pushed the envelope in so many forms of noticeable nuance. The seemingly calculated choices when it came to where the drums sat in the mix, the bass owned and held upright the fluid frame of the masterful guitar work over which mid-ranged, musical raspy howls cried out were overall the feature of this release. Songwriting is so solid; I'd send it out to sea without fear of capsizing. This album more than floats, it navigates. - The Sludgelord