Review Summary: Another Japanese post-rock esque group worth watching, and they don't carry a hefty load of meaningless, sometimes uninspired buildups as some of their present contemporaries.
The Japanese group Toe when releasing their debut The Book About My Idle Plot on a Vague Anxiety
must have come to conclusion to release something dynamic and free. While at heart their debut is a calming, melodic post-rock affair, it adds interesting stop and go rhythm sections within the bulk of some of the album, a clear math rock influence. What is telling about Toe's work on this album is their clear potential to become more. Their dynamic, yet limited buildups aren't the ones you hear from traditional, uproarious, and grandiose groups like Explosions In The Sky! or more traditionally Godspeed You! Black Emperor; instead their clean shaven take on guitar structure and fantastic drumming by Kashikura Takashi is what matters the most. Rarely, if ever are piano structures, obscure samples, or electronics of any kind are introduced within The Book About My Idle Plot on a Vague Anxiety
, which frankly is impressive.
The Book About My Idle Plot on a Vague Anxiety
is at its core a strict representation of a minimalist post-rock affair. Its structures carry on by themselves without a huge ambient uplifting or pretentious, high-flying strings to back up any track. The album moves smoothly as it should, but Takashi's skill is exceptional, he carries this album with his smooth, diverse drumming. Amazingly it doesn't tire at all. Stylishly the band approaches an almost back-and-forth method between the rhythm portion of the album and its percussion - at times silencing out one to showcase the other, as seen in "Past and Language". The album moves freely without hesitation or uncertainty, making the music so effective, but the parts not whole is really only needed as the structures don't need to be completely built up in an awe-inspiring 10-20 minute epic, but a melodic, serene, more or less peaceful 5 minutes of them almost
jamming. Oddly enough this perception of them in a free-form basis of jamming is clearly not a reality because the rhythm structures and percussion fills are exceptional at their timings all over this debut.
The biggest strength of this Toe's debut is their patience within these tracks. Unlike other short, quick outbursts such as Grails, Toe still find themselves building the song suitable to their strengths and comfort zone. When they decide to trek outside of these waters, they're very minimal, in an experimented quick duration as seen in "Music For You" and "反逆する風景". When the group decides to ramp up a song, they do so immediately from the inner-workings of Takashi and by doing so carve out a quick, tasteful foundation to start off on, evidence by "I Still Do Wrong". While their stripped-down approach that feels almost too pure for most post-rock listeners, they seem to take their strides from Do Make Say Think and their label associates Mouse On The Keys and Enemies. What The Book About My Idle Plot on a Vague Anxiety
accomplishes is a rhythm section that is entirely tight and sustained, that at times should feel timid or stale, but the drumming is frankly superb, allowing the band to reach new heights. The prime detriment that can be attributed to this is by far the lack of vibrancy within the material. Sure it's consistent, but it seems a bit hollow in small sections, which can only be the major setback with their debut.