PHOTO CREDIT: Kayla Chin
Providence alternative hip-hop act Toad & The Stooligans exhibit an uncanny style of charisma whenever they perform. It’s not even pretentious, more like contagious with the vibe and energy the band resonates. Their debut full-length album, Very Handsome, came out on September 15 and they achieve a rare goal of capturing their live essence right off the bat. Frontman Mike Jencks and guitarist Dan Pomfret split lyrical bars while drummer Matt O’Brien and bassist Alex Caimano supply jazzy rhythms. For a band’s first LP, they’ve already shed the nerves and captured their own artistic identity.
“We recorded the record with our longtime friend John Dello Iacono, who we had worked with previously”, O’Brien says. “It was an exciting experience because we got to have a lot more fun and experiment with a lot of different sounds and approaches to songs. Everything ran like clockwork and we’re very proud of the finished product”. You can tell the band had a lot of fun with the album with the laid-back aesthetic that’s present. Dello Iacono also nailed down the production quality in each track pristinely with everything sounding clear and poignant.
Very Handsome starts off with “All Things Considered” laying down the tone and Pomfret and Jencks spitting hot lyrics. The chorus gets the soulful courtesy of Pomfret along with being a bit funky due to Caimano’s bass lines holding it all together. “Part Time Lovers” has Bianca Sings contributing backing vocals while wonderful harmonies are conveyed. With an abstract introduction, “Statements” captures the jazzy rhythms mentioned earlier. Jencks takes everything over on the mic while O’Brien displays incredible skills on the drums.
Toad & The Stooligans will be celebrating the release of their debut at Fete in Providence tonight (September 16) with fellow locals including the alt-pop-rock quartet Royal Street, funky rap band The Funk Underground and hip-hop soul act Sun Of Sound. It’s a stacked show that promises to be one hell of a time. While you’re there, grab a copy of Very Handsome. It’s a record that lives up to its name and you’re going to love it.
For more information, visit the Facebook event at https://www.facebook.com/events/130613887452554.