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Post Rock/Math rock • Japan

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Toe picture
Toe biography
Founded in Tokyo, Japan in 2000

TOE are one of those bands that are hard to really pin down into one genre. While being mentioned in many post-rock circles, their song structures and dynamics are similar to that of math rock artists.

They released their debut EP, "Songs, Ideas We Forgot", in 2002. The world didn't saw another release of the band until 2005 when they released their first full-length album, "Book About My Idle Plot on Vague Anxiety". The band incorporated some new instruments into the mix like acoustic guitars and Rhodes piano with this release and in 2006 they released another EP, "New Sentimentality", which saw the band in the same direction as their full-length album. TOE has toured with many bands in the past years. They've been opening act for post-hardocre acts like Envy and post-rock artists like The Mercury Program, The Album Leaf and Pele.

- Ruben Dario (Chamberry) -

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Book About My Idle Plot on a VBook About My Idle Plot on a V
3d 2005
$11.93 (used)
the book about my idle plot on a vague anxietythe book about my idle plot on a vague anxiety
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Our Latest NumberOur Latest Number
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Hear You [LP]Hear You [LP]
Topshelf Records 2015
$25.27 (used)
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TOE discography

Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

TOE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.11 | 19 ratings
The Book About My Idle Plot On A Vague Anxiety
4.17 | 54 ratings
For Long Tomorrow
3.98 | 27 ratings
Hear You

TOE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

TOE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

TOE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

TOE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 2 ratings
Songs, Ideas We Forgot
4.00 | 2 ratings
3.39 | 5 ratings
New Sentimentality
3.96 | 5 ratings
The Future Is Now

TOE Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Book About My Idle Plot On A Vague Anxiety by TOE album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.11 | 19 ratings

The Book About My Idle Plot On A Vague Anxiety
Toe Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Kempokid
Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars When I think of math rock, I think of high energy and extremely complex passages of music, often with large amounts of abrasive qualities and distortion, along with a certain hyperactivity. This makes Toe a very interesting case, fusing the complexity of math rock with teh atmospheric qualities of post rock, leading to rapidly changing time signatures being made into some incredibly relaxing music. While each song has a very similar feel to it, it ends up working quite well here, sounding more like an extended passage taking on various rhythmic patterns than a collection of songs.

From the short opening track, you're immediately made fully aware that there will be a lot of focus on rhythm, strting off with crackling, seemingly off beat notes before introducing other elements until it becomes an edm style beat. After this, the rest of the album follows a similar kind of sound, one involving each note feeling perfectly calculated, especially the drumming, which is genuinely some of the greatest I've heard, being incredibly fast and technical, keeping a good amount of variation, but also showing the perfect amount of restraint. The album is in a constant state of being perfectly on the line just before devolving into excess, but never hits that point, instead maintaining a high level of excellence througout, with each song being led primarily by this simply incredible rhythm section. It amazes me how such incredible technicality can manage to morph into music that I could see myself comfortably dozing off to. All I Understand is that I Don't Understand is one of the best tracks here, with soft riffs playing off each other meticulously, sounding like a complex indie rock track more than anything else, but being so lovely in the process. C is probably the most energetic tracl here on the other hand, with a really cool, strange drum beat, and some of the most focus on the guitar elements, along with a really groovy, prominent bassline. I really don't feel like I can say much more about this album without beginning to repeat myself, each song shares very similar features with one another, but are all played exceptionally well, even if it does lead to some issue with memorability and a slightly repetitive feeling by the end, not that it is enough to majorly detract from this album.

I find the middle ground taken here between the expansive, softer aspects of post rock and the excessive, wildly technical nature of math rock to work exquisitely, as it balances these in such a wy where neither overpowers the other, all topped off by some out of this world drumming. The one issue I do have is how the album is definitely somewhat one note, but despite that it's still highly enjoyable, as well as quite easy to listen to. I'd recommend this album to a fairly wide range of people, namely those who like chill music, as I think you'd have at least a passing interest in this album.

Best songs: All I Understand Is That I Don't Understand, C, Everything Means Nothing

Weakest songs: none

Verdict: Surprisingly soft, melodic math rock that I'd honestly recommend for anyone who likes relaxing music to listen to, as it provides an element of beauty, while also being an incredible display of technicality.

 For Long Tomorrow by TOE album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.17 | 54 ratings

For Long Tomorrow
Toe Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This album really is like a breath of fresh air. A four piece Math-Rock band out of Japan with 2 guitarists, a bassist and drummer. Lots of guests though including keyboards on 8 of the 13 tracks, 2 sax players and a clarinet all on one song plus three different vocalists. Released in 2009 it's really cool how they achieve a catchy sound with all that complexity. These guys can play and as Drew says in his review the drummer is outstanding!

I'm surprised they opened with the two tracks they did though. Not the best start with that 40 second experimental song to begin with followed by "Vanishing Point And Whistle" with the clapping that comes and goes although the guitars and drumming are great. "After Image" is where I start to get really impressed. Those female vocal melodies to start as picked guitar and drums join in, bass too. I like this a lot. Punchy and mathy.

"Esoteric" has faint guitar sounds to start then a second guitar joins in then it kicks into gear just before a minute. K.C. like here with those guitar lines. It's heavier before 3 1/2 minutes to the end. "Say It Ain't So" has intricate guitar as drums, keys and male vocals join in. A catchy and poppy sound but mathy. Piano as well here. A calm before 2 1/2 minutes with piano and faint sounds as quiet vocals return. It kicks back in before 3 minutes. Kind of a cool track. Different. "Two Moons" has some beautiful guitar melodies to start and more. Drums just before 2 minutes as it starts to build.

The next two tracks are parts one and two called "I Can't Hear Mosquitone Anymore" totalling less than 5 minutes combined. Sounds like vibes here along with piano and the second part is more of the same but a different shade. Vocal melodies around 1 1/2 minutes are brief. "Night" is one of my favourites. Some nice drum work to start then it settles in. Love how this sounds. Vibes and synths in this one as well. "Goodbye" has pleasant picked guitar for about 1 1/2 minutes then it kicks in some. Female vocal melodies 2 minutes in. Excellent sound to this one. Some interesting drum work 4 1/2 minutes in. Catchy stuff.

"You Go" has intricate guitar and beats. Some brief vocals 2 1/2 minutes in. A bright catchy tune. "Our Next Movement" is another highlight for me. This one has the guest horns on it and they arrive quickly with beats and intricate guitar lines. Some amazing drum work here as well and it dominates until 3 1/2 minutes in when they stop and a horn returns. Not for long though as it all kicks back in. Nice. "Long Tomorrow" ends it with picked guitar only to start. It kicks in before a minute with a full sound. Catchy and complex.

A solid 4 stars and I wish I had picked up some of their other studio albums back in the day.

 For Long Tomorrow by TOE album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.17 | 54 ratings

For Long Tomorrow
Toe Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars So many musicians in the math rock area can tend to get stuck into a groove, chugging away at their 1980s King Crimson guitar lines to the point of monotony and neglecting to add enough variation to their overall approach to keep things interested. toe here cannot be accused of that, offering up a far gentler and more nuanced take on math rock. If I wanted to draw a stark contrast between post-rock and math rock, I would say that math rock is very interested in the individual ingredients of a performance, with an emphasis on technically proficient play, whilst post- rock seems to be more interested in the big picture, where the whole shape of a composition across its running time is given more significance; toe manage to capture both of those qualities, avoiding the pitfall of technical showboating that has claimed so many in this field.
 Hear You by TOE album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.98 | 27 ratings

Hear You
Toe Post Rock/Math rock

Review by LearsFool
Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

5 stars A spectacular Japanese math band, Toe here have shifted away from their sort of standard and at times post leaning math to a minimalistic and poppy take on the genre that reaps many unexpected rewards. The complex riffs are light, and feed a collection of tracks that are catchy, relaxing, and often pretty. They pull off some great instrumental cuts, and have chosen only the best guest artists to sing on various others, avoiding the all too common pitfall of featured spots in modern music that create out of place and disastrous results. "G.O.O.D. L.U.C.K." is the best of the tracks with guests, not just having a great vocal set but with the great Japanese percussionist U-zhaan providing traditional drums as part of a killer instrumental backing for the aforementioned vocals. Also on the top flight for this record are the first three tracks, which string together into a beautiful opening sequence. An altogether excellent album that looks set to bring their greatness to a fairly wider audience, there's something here for crossover fans as well as math fans.
 For Long Tomorrow by TOE album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.17 | 54 ratings

For Long Tomorrow
Toe Post Rock/Math rock

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars This is an interesting and enjoyable album that has a lot of the King Crimson Discipline sound and stylings that I love, especially songs 2, 3, 12, and 13. Though categorized Post Rock/Math Rock, it is far more that that, for in it I hear snippets that remind me of ALGERNON, IVY, KOOP, PAUL SIMON, JONI MITCHELL and many others. But most of all I hear DRUMS! AMAZING drumming!

The first song is a brief 39-second sonic introduction that bleeds directly into the brief "Shou[&*!#]su tenyo fue" (2:40) (9/10) which is, in effect, an introduction and set-up for the album's third song (and, IMO, crown jewel). Arpeggio

3. "After Image" (3:59) featuring female vocalist Harada Ikuko reminds me of an awesome upbeat song from IVY or FIONA APPLE. (10/10)

4. "Esoteric" (4:15) is the album's first song to fully fall under the familiar/more usual Post Rock/Math Rock formats--and it is an excellent one! Sitar, arpeggiated acoustic and electric guitars, and amazing drumming! This is like MASERATI at its best! (10/10)

5. "Say It Ain't So," with the vocals of Dry River String's Hoshikawa Yuzuru (3:42), sounds like it wants to be pop and maybe even rappy. It's laid back, very repetitive and uses multiple tracks for its vocals. (7/10)

6. "Two Moons" begins rather delicately, involving a synth, glockenspiel an acoustic and an electric guitar interweaving polyrhythmic melody lines. Until the bass and drums arrive at the 1:49 mark. Then we have a full-out jam! Kind of reminds me of ALGERNON. (8/10)

7. "Mosikiiton wa mou kikoenai #1" (2:32) (8/10) is a piano over tuned and electronic percussion intro/variation for the next song,

8. "Mosikiiton wa mou kikoenai #2" (2:20) in which drums, bass and acoustic guitars play a more prominent role. Together the two variations rate a pleasant KOOP-like (8/10)--lacking enough development and change to make me reach for the replay button. This one is the drummer's song!

9. "Last Night (Album Version)" (4:56). By this time into the album I am looking for a little more variety. The one-note-at-a-time Kool-and-the-Gang synth is starting to get on my nerves, the interwoven tuned-percussion and acoustic guitar leads are getting a little old, the bass and drumming are the only things still keeping it interesting. (7/10)

10. "Goodbye (Album Version) featuring Toki Asako" (7:06) establishes another IVY-like groove using acoustic guitars and rolling COCTEAU TWINS-like bass before the vocalist and drummer get engaged. Again, the drummer is stealing the show! At the four minute mark ends a peak and things settling into a bit of a mellow, more simply and controlled section-- though the drummer apparently has difficulty with this mode, as he seems to always sneak in, or bulldoze his way into . . . taking over! I think the rest of the band shows admirable restraint in the face of his "lead" though I also believe the drumming is what makes this music work on such a high level. (9/10)

11. "You Go" (3:35) begins like one of DAVID BYRNE's Brazilian-influenced or PAUL SIMON's South African-inflluenced songs of years ago. The drummer is held a bit farther back in the mix on this one?and shows more than his usual restraint, though even in quiet restrained mode he continues to shine and attract the attention of the listener. (8/10)

12. "Our Next Movement" (4:48) begins with a very blatant folk drum style--large African hand drums and other hand percussives. Saxes play around in the background--as if I'm reminded of JONI MITCHELL's "Dreamland" from Don Juan's Reckless Daughter. The random sax play, bass play, and replacement of hand drums by drum kit reign this jazzier tune in a bit. Horns come together in a bank format as guitars pick in their arpeggiated KING CRIMSON way. I like the looseness of this one. (8/10)

13. "Long Tomorrow" (5:18) displays the same controlled "Discipline"-like weave of electric guitars, drums, and bass as the album began with. I like the bass being a bit more forward in this one. Static-screeching synth enters around mid-point. Finishes in a much more PostRock/Math Rock way. I can't explain why I like this time of "controlled chaos" so much-- that KC "Discipline" weave--but I do. (9/10)

Though this album often threatens to slide into background music, it is definitely one of the best Math/Post Rock albums I've ever heard?one that I will play again and again. I look forward to the growth and maturation of this great little combo.

4 stars: An excellent addition to any prog lover's music collection.

 The Future Is Now by TOE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2012
3.96 | 5 ratings

The Future Is Now
Toe Post Rock/Math rock

Review by The Truth
Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

4 stars One of the more famous groups in the energetic and exciting Japanese post-rock/math-rock scene, Toe. brings forth a nice little follow-up to the album For Long Tomorrow which since its release in 2009 has garnered a small cult following on this site.

The Future Is Now dabbles in much of the same territory as its predecessor but the formula has clearly not grown stale and Toe. should use it as long as it keeps working. Their sound is a nice blend of both post-rock and math-rock and the music this group creates is phenomenal. Japan's groups in the genre are always great with composition of music pieces, and this album is no exception, it is quite stellar in terms of musicianship and the music writing quality.

It's a short little listen that always seems to fly by because it's such a fun little EP to listen to. Even people who aren't fan of the post-rock/math-rock scene can learn to appreciate this. It's an album you can tell the group enjoyed making (Toe. always gives off this vibe) and it won't take up very much of your time at all.

I would go as far as to say it's an excellent addition to any prog rock music collection.

 New Sentimentality by TOE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2006
3.39 | 5 ratings

New Sentimentality
Toe Post Rock/Math rock

Review by 40footwolf

4 stars A short review for a short album!

Toe is one of the rare bands that can combine elements of math rock with post rock without feeling forced, and New Sentimentality is a great way to see all of these facets utilized to their fullest. Dreamy and spacious guitars mix with tight, rapid, complex drumming and are tied together with atmospheric, emotional vocals to create an experience that is all at once thoughtful and exciting. "Goodbye" is the best example of this, which starts off with a humming, impassioned guitar line not unlike something you might hear from an early Modest Mouse album, but is soon driven forward by what is simultaneously one of the catchiest and most intricate drumlines I've ever heard.

Toe's ponderousness can wear a bit thin on a full-length album, but as a 20 minute E.P. their music is just what the doctor ordered. If you're a fan of post rock or math rock, there's no reason for you not to give this little gem a listen.

 For Long Tomorrow by TOE album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.17 | 54 ratings

For Long Tomorrow
Toe Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Tall Hair

5 stars This new release from the Japanese post-math-rock group Toe is absolutely awesome. This time there are lyrics and singing in some songs, (which they have managed to fit in very well) like after image (which is mind blowingly chill and great) and goodbye. The overall atmosphere of this album is very chilled out. It's amazing how these guys can make such complex music at the same time being soothing and chill. Toe used a lot more texture and different instruments in this release compared to the previous recordings. The result is great: the same toe ingeniousness with clean guitar emotional jamming, but including rhodes, a lot more acoustic guitar, some marimba/xylophone, voice, and other cool layers of interesting instruments and sound effects.

If you enjoy post rock and not-so-frantic math rock, you will most likely enjoy this quite a bit like i did. This is one of this year's best releases. Don't you dare miss it. 4 1/2 stars.

 New Sentimentality by TOE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2006
3.39 | 5 ratings

New Sentimentality
Toe Post Rock/Math rock

Review by chamberry
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Toe. are a band that can be either seen as a post-rock act or a math rock one depending on which side you come from. It can be seen as a math rock band with emotional touches or a post-rock band with a dynamic flare, but whatever label they may fall into, the music on this EP has a certain charm to it that you'll be listening to it for weeks to come.

The music in New Sentimentality may not sound loud enough to make an impression or to stun the listener on the get go, but you'll slowly subdue to the music either by the warm acoustic guitars and fender rhodes (two instruments rarely seen in this kind of music) or the brisk drumming that, while being fairly complex, is still soft to the ears. Their start-stop dynamics never sound jagged or out of place because they're smoothed out with memorable melodies. The album has a breezy and organic sound thanks to the acoustic guitars which gives the album a great atmosphere which remind me of bands like As The Poets Affirm or Do Make Say Think (in atmosphere, not sound). The flamenco-ish clapping in "1/21" also adds to the atmosphere along with the lovely fender rhodes and horns (or that's what I think it is). The first three songs on this EP share the same atmosphere while "Goodbye" sees the band playing the first electric guitar on the EP. The "lovely fender rhodes" is still present in the song as well as the acoustic guitars, but they're now accompanied by a new instruments: vocals. They aren't just thrown in for the sake of having them, these guys do them well and they do add alot to the overall emotion of the album. Probably my favorite song from the band. Lets just hope they get to experiment with it more on future releases.

This EP was my first taste of this band and I quickly fell in love with their sound and grabbed their other releases. My only set-back is that it's too short! OK. I know this is an EP and EPs tend to be short by nature (unless we're talking about Jakob or Yndi Halda...), but the music here is so wonderful that it leaves you wanting for more. Keep an eye out for these guys, they showed great potential with this release and with their full-length album as well.

3.5 out of 5

Thanks to chamberry for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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