The Toadies Biography
“There’s a certain uneasiness to the Toadies,” says Vaden Todd Lewis, succinctly and accurately describing his band—quite a trick. The Texas band is, at its core, just a raw, commanding rock band. Imagine an ebony sphere with a corona that radiates impossibly darker, and a brilliant circular sliver of light around that. It’s nebulous, but strangely distinct—and, shall we say incorrect. Or, as Lewis says, “wrong.”
In 1989, Page Hamilton co-founded the New York-based Helmet, fusing Zeppelinesque riffing with a vehement post-hardcore precision, augmented by dense chords and offbeat time signatures based in Hamilton’s formal jazz training. The combination was that rarest of visionary creations–it was successful in its own time.Bands such as the Deftones, Rise Against, Pantera and Tool have all cited Helmet as an influence, and not just for Helmet’s blistering, aggro approach but for the band’s sheer musicality and brains. See, Helmet, among other things, is a work of art.
Ume (pronounced ooo-may) is an Austin trio who have built a reputation as one of indie rock’s heaviest live bands. On their new EP, the power of Ume’s live show has been captured and surpassed. With this sophomore release, Lauren Larson’s ferocious guitar riffs and fiery vocals have combined with a melodic beauty that completely transcends their previous efforts. With a rock-solid rhythmic foundation provided by Eric Larson on bass and Jeff Barrera on drums, Ume has delivered a unique combination of catchy pop sweetness, delay-drenched noise, and jaw-dropping intensity
Behind Ume’s explosive music is an unassuming and quite shy trio. Guitarist/vocalist Lauren says (in her southern drawl) that show after show she meets people who don’t think she could possibly have played in punk rock bands for over a decade. She has even had audience members ask if the guitar parts were pre-recorded, because “nobody could play guitar like that, wail, and flail around so much on stage.” Sorry folks, this pint-sized shredder is the real deal.