Who said progressive rock has to be dark, weighty and played by frowny guys who take themselves very seriously? Who says it can’t put a big cheesy smile on your face? Melbourne four-piece Toehider put the fun into prog rock, and do it with real style.

That’s not to say these guys aren’t excellent musicians and songwriters. Far from it. You literally can’t play prog rock convincingly if you haven’t attained a very competent level on your instrument. It’s just that the overall tone is very different from most prog. It’s lighter, musically, lyrically and in mood; in fact, there’s a very distinguishable Queen-like playfulness to the band.

 

Even when these guys are rocking the fuck out, in a flat-knacker, balls-to-the-wall type of manner, like on the appropriately titled ‘Smash It Out’, they do it with a wink and a cheeky grin. Then there’s a track like ‘Whoa!’, which features almost ’60s-like pop cheeriness.

 

What Kind Of Creature Am I? is an absolute riot. That element of fun makes this a very different type of prog/art rock record; one that could appeal to a broader audience of everyday rock fans. Much like Queen did in their day.

 

4/5.

What Kind Of Creature Am I? is out now through Bird’s Robe / MGM.

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