Matt D from The Toads here! We're proud to announce our latest EP, "Time", to be released on July 23rd at Rontoms, with Cool American and Strange Ranger. Recorded in November 2016 with James Collette and Kevin Hoffman of Calisse, it's the last Toads recording to feature our former singer-drummer Mitch Gonzales, now guitarist for Wave Action, among other projects. His replacement on the throne, Dylan Valentine, doesn't appear on the record, but he's in the photos to the left, and he's been crushing it with us for eight months now.
"Time" is an eclectic mix of songs. We're known for high-energy power pop songs like "You're Gonna Die/I Have Fun", but these six tunes capture a more brooding, introspective side of the Toads, with stories of romantic frustration and existential yearning--but concluding with the optimistic resolution to "Keep on Keepin' On'".
Tracks two through five, "Justine", "Alien Gene" and "Ain't 18 Nice", date back the River Road Show, a folk/country/pop street band formed in 2012 by our guitarist/singer, Matt Kane, and a Texan singer-banjoist named Conner Arthur. Matt and I were already friends in Massachusetts, but that year he suddenly took a hitchhiking trip and stumbled upon Portland, and fell in love with it. After playing for a while here on the street, the River Road Show hitchhiked across America, from Portland to Boston, and ultimately travelled to the Mayan pyramids in Mexico to witness the world end (or whatever was supposed to happen) on December 21, 2012. Nothing happened, but the River Road Show did break up. Still, I got to see them and I found it so inspiring that I ended up moving to Portland myself about two years later, and that's how the Toads got going. "Time" in fact, my sole songwriting contribution to the new EP, was about my sadness at the end of the River Road Show, of the sometimes sudden evaporation of dreams and ambitions. There's a lot more to the story, of course, but that's the gist.
The Toads are a three piece power pop trio based on Portland, OR. Ranging in tone from psychedelic to country to Beatles pop to punk to doom metal, primary songwriters Matt K. and Matt D. create catchy, humorous, harmonized tunes that stick in the ear, at turns snarky and sincere but always memorable, performed with high energy and high volume.
Transplants from Boston, singer-guitarist Matt K. and singer-bassist Matt D., joined originally by singer-drummer Mitch Gonzales (Jackson Boone, Snowblind Traveler) formed in the Spring of 2015 and quickly established themselves as a band addicted to live shows, with over 70 performances in Portland within their first two years as a band, plus a full length album, a three song EP, and three music videos showcasing their campy, antic comic style. This frenetic activity, along with their humor, chops, and rapid-fire live sets, have helped the Toads gain ever more visibility in the city's all ages garage rock underground.
2016 was a busy year for the Toads. They released their first full-length album and companion EP, plus two music videos. Their music has been featured on Tender Loving Empire's 9th annual "Friends and Friends of Friends" compilation, played at a Blazers game and on X-Ray FM, and written up on Next Northwest, The Deli Portland, Like You Said and other blogs. The Toads also performed a full live set for KPSU's Live Fridays in January.
Mitch Gonzales left the band for good in November 2016, after a final recording session, and the Matts brought Kings & Vagabonds drummer Dylan Valentine onto the throne. Already in 2017, the Toads have been in for a live interview/acoustic session on Portland Radio Project with Heather Hanson and won the Deli Portland's reader poll for best indie rock/post-punk artist of 2016--signs of greater recognition to come in what Matt D. has officially declared to be, once again, "The Year of the Toad."
The band released their first single of 2017, "Portland, OR" on April 6, with a six song EP, "Time", to follow on July 23. They embarked on their first tour in March, with Oregon shows in Salem, Corvallis, Ashland and Brookings, and they're planning a second tour, of Washington State, for September. In May, they appeared for an extended interview on the Haute Garbage Podcast. Whatever they do, the Toads maintain their mission of leading all to the Church of Rock N Roll, where they will preside for eternity over the altar. Praise be the Toads, Matt, Matt and Dylan, amen.
"Time still operates the same pop-punk plane The Toads usually skirt on, but with a slight twist. It's not just delightfully punky tunes anymore, but also an incorporation of more of a 90's alternative feel to the tracks. At times, Time even touches on a Beatles-esque '60s pop quality, like on the track 'Alien Gene.'" --The Deli Portland, 8/18/2017
"The album kicks off with killer riffs that show off Matt Kane’s tasty guitar wizardry and closes with an anthem of positive vibes, Keep On Keepin’ On. This country-pop-rock album pretty much captures the essence of Portland Summer 2017 and begs the question that so many people are asking “why aren’t these guys huge yet?” Thanks guys! Keep on keepin’ on! You are making people happy!" --Portland Notes, 8/3/2017
"Nineties rock revivalism tends to tilt toward the grungy end of things, which is understandable—Hole was awesome, and Nirvana shirts still look great. But Portland band the Toads, which celebrates the release of its new Time EP tonight, is bold enough to summon the spirits of less-revered deities like Gin Blossoms and Matthew Sweet, artists who wrote great songs but were untethered to trends or scenes. They were very good, and so are the Toads, who merge classic power-pop and ‘80s college rock so skillfully it makes one long for the days when movies were mere pretexts for Proclaimers songs." --Willamette Week, 7/19/2017
The Toads "Time" EP Electronic Press Kit
Album cover. Click for hi-res
Photo 1 by Heather Hanson. Click for hi-res
Photo 2 by Heather Hanson. Click for hi-res