To Hide Her

Label: Bird's Robe Records
Three similar bands: Devin Townsend/Ayreon/Kornog

Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
1. Oh My God He's an Idiot
2. The Most Popular Girl in School
3. Daddy Issues
4. In This Time
5. To Hide Her
6. There's a Ghost in the Lake
7. Giants Who Walk the Earth
8. Fireside
9. Everybody Knows Amy
10. Weren't They Just Playing Out Near the Swings

Mike Mills - vocals, guitars
Lach Barclay - guitars
Amy Campbell - bass
Ricky Evensand - drums

To Hide Her (2011)
What Kind of Creature Am I? (2014)
Good (2017)
I Like It! (2020)

Gareth Hogan - keys on track 2
Talia Browne - Percussion on track 4

Recorded at "I Don't Feel Comfortable Calling it a Studio" Studios
Art concept and design by Andrew Saltmarsh

Released 2021-11-26
Reviewed 2021-10-30

bird's robe records

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 Mike Mills, perhaps most known for collaborations with Arjen Lucassen for Ayreon, had quite the busy time before releasing the debut album for his band Toehider. They did 12 Eps in 12 months, and then six months later this album was made. Apparently, Mills is a pretty quick guy when it comes to writing songs and producing as well. This is the first time this debut album comes out in vinyl form, Mills himself stated that it would be an injustice if the artwork that he refers to one of the best by artist Andrew Saltmarsh wouldn’t be presented in the larger form that vinyl represents. It is also clever to present this vinyl reissue around the time of the ten-year anniversary of the album release that was originally in 2011.

It is described as progressive rock on the press sheet, and why not? It has to be progressive when you go through all kinds of styles and genres over the frame of an album. The songs range from punkish to hard rock anthems and more or less anything in between and some things from the sides as well. Mills sings well as he usually does, and the production is really strong with good depth and variation. Toehider manages to combine the depth with accessibility and that is always a great thing, especially if you want to have the chance of wider commercial success. This album probably would have if marketed right but with all the mediocrity today it is hard to be heard through all the noise.

To Hide Her is a really strong album, the title track is a really great heavy rock hit song that hits hard and true. Then they celebrate the live bassist Amy Campbell who moved abroad, but before that she made a high impact on both the band and their fans. She has her own track in Everybody Knows Amy, and it is one of the best tracks on the album. As is the aforementioned title track, the one called Fireside is probably my favourite and it would have been the logical end to the album. If there are any negatives it would be that the ending is not as great as the rest of the album, but with all the greatness and hit-potential it is quite easy to overlook that.

You should give this one a chance, it has all the hallmarks of a strong album and it should have really wide appeal with the accessible songs as well as great depth. And I guess it would look pretty cool in the vinyl format as well, as you can see the arguments are many. At least you should take a closer look at this excellent debut album.