The Toads Electronic Press Kit
ALL GOOD THINGS MUST COME TO AN END, and not often in the ways expected. Portland, Oregon's loudest pop group, the Toads, started 2018 with a two week tour of the West Coast from which they returned stronger than ever, greeted by the news that Portland-via-Vienna producer and tour manager Dominik Schmidt wanted to produce their next album. But by the end of the Summer, the band's legendary momentum--over 100 shows played and more than 30 songs released since 2015--was brought to a halt by the recurring mental health problems of bassist/singer Matt D., who's struggled with bipolar disorder since the age of 19.
"It waxes and wanes," says the 33-year-old musician of his bipolar condition, "And I have it fairly under control but the deeper you get into the music life, the most unpredictable things can be, and that's not a great combo for me."
But the story was not completely over. In the fall of 2018 the Toads withdrew from live performances to prepare for their album with Schmidt. Tracked and mixed with engineer Sasha Müller throughout the first half of 2019, the twelve song album, simply titled The Toads, serves as a greatest hits for longtime Toads fans and an ideal introduction for newcomers to their brand of humor-infused, catchy power pop, recalling 90's mainstays like Weezer, Green Day, and Guided by Voices. From the sardonic ode to an adopted hometown "Portland, OR" to the slacker anthem "I'm Sorry" to the dreamy yearning of "Alien Gene" and the madcap pop experimentalism of "Toadspiracy", the band proves themselves again and again to be one of the most creative and energetic of their generation of Portland rock hopefuls. Though they will never tour again, they hope to use the record for licensing deals and as a springboard for future projects.
A couple of packed shows at the Firkin and the Belmont Bar RendezVous in 2019 confirmed the Portland rock n' roll community's love of the scrappy power pop trio. With work on the album complete, Matt K left Portland in October 2019 for Lockhart, Texas, outside Austin, but he'll be returning in August for one last show to celebrate the long-awaited released of the Schmidt-produced Toads album.
PRAISE FOR THE TOADS:
"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
"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
Album cover. Click for hi-res
Photo 1: Matt K (left) and Matt D (right), September 2019. Click for hi-res
Photo 2 by Heather Hanson, March 2017. Click for hi-res