Toe Tag is sort of a Seattle hardcord supergroup. I’d never heard of them before, though, until running across a big stack of their newly released 10″ Hide the Knives last weekend over at Easy Street Records. Easy Street hosted the album launch party at the end of January, so obviously they’re big supporters of the band and its limited edition (hand numbered, of 300) vinyl release. Here’s the band bio from the Easy Street page, which is basically more concise than anything I could tell you:
Toe Tag features Lord Zippy Blaine (formerly of the Fartz, the Accused and Ten Minute Warning) leading a band of hooligans comprised of ex-members of Gruntruck, Hot Rod Lunatics, Black Nasty & March Of Crimes! Hide The Knives was produced by Jack Endino and comes on shiny black 10″ vinyl to spin till your turntable bleeds.
That’s a high-powered rock pedigree, including the producer. And it sounds pretty damn good too.
Hide the Knives is described as hardcore, and maybe it is. But it seems to have a whole lot of metal in it too. Songs like the instrumental onslaught “Every Thousand Years” are straight-up shredding heavy metal – no hardcore here. Overall it’s sort of a hybrid – it feels like hardcore vocals on heavy metal music to me. Which is awesome. “Poop & Filth” is the perfect example of this, featuring some very un-punk but extremely killer guitar solos, with with Zippy just going off vocally all over the place.
One word of warning though – the runout grooves on this go all the way under the paper label… so if you’re not there right when the side ends to pick up the tonearm, your stylus will be carving grooves through paper. Which can drive you nuts if you have an expensive cartridge. I knew it was coming and it still got me again on side B! So pay attention! It is on nice, heavy weight vinyl though, which is a plus.
The A side might be a bit more punk and the B side a bit more metal, but the whole thing comes together into one solid eight-song package. The opening track “Dead Blue Skies” is probably my favorite after a few listenings, an alternating fast-slow number that is just flat out heavy, but truth be told there isn’t a clunker on here. Definitely worth picking up.