2014 - What Kind Of Creature Am I?

by Toehider

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tubularluggage Easily one of the most fantastically creative albums I've heard in a long time. Every track has its own personality, yet it all comes together. A must have for any music fan. Favorite track: The Thing With Me.
Eric Hoyt
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Eric Hoyt Nonstop fun with incredible musicianship. That is the best description for Toehider. The man is a modern legend, no doubt. I mean, even Devin Townsend has recommended him! What higher praise than that?! Favorite track: The Thing With Me.
Eric Valerio
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Eric Valerio The Devin Townsend influence is here, but Mike's work is much more creative and crafty than Devy's recent output has been. A fun and well-written album from start to finish. Favorite track: The Thing With Me.
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    You'll get the new album 'What Kind of Creature Am I?' plus 'To Hide Her', 'The First Six' and 'The Last Six' all together!

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about

I've been working extremely hard on the next release, entitled "What Kind of Creature Am I?". For those that know the music of Toehider, I can guarantee I've taken the eclectic craziness, diversity, haunting stories and humour all to the next level. I'd even go as far to say that it's my best work to date.

With all the goodwill from fans over the past year, I really want to give people the kind of album and packaging that does full justice to Salty’s artwork and your incredible comments about the music.

With your help, we've done just that. Thank you!

credits

released July 11, 2014

Mike Mills - everything

Andrew Saltmarsh - artwork

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Toehider Melbourne, Australia

The work of musician Micheal Mills and artist Andrew Saltmarsh.

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Track Name: You and I Both Lose (But 5 Wins)
“Ok but this is the LAST thing" I said to my good friend,
"If this bombs man, if this time it doesn’t fly…
I’m throwing the towel in. I tire of these welts from
banging my head against the wall…”

and with that (quite startled) I saw her trespassing
Her hands were deep within my bin out on the curb
“Excuse me, but what are...” my words interrupted
(as) she pierced her gaze into my eyes

“You seem like a good boy” she reached in her pocket
“You look like you could hold your own and last a game!!”
She just started giggling, quite uncontrollably

Pulled up a chair! Tied back her hair! With not a care, whipped out a deck of cards
Opened the box, I looked at my watch, she pulled up her socks and
dealt a hand of 5 (1,2,3,4,5)

I tried to explain that I had to be somewhere,
She pressed her finger to my lips and shooshed me down
“just sit in your chair there, you're right where you should be
You got no better place to go! Now,

“The rules of the game” she continued, “are simple -
Regardless of your card, the number, or its suit,
You place it on top of the pile in the centre,
And simply say the number “5”...

She seemed unconcerned with the turn of my eyebrow
And pushed me down the second I tried to get up
And that was the point I lost my sense of humour...

"So, what, that’s it?
You’re full of shit!"
She didn't quit, no, it's like she didn't hear

"so! Now you know the way it goes, let's play and... OH!
So here's the final rule -

YOU AND I BOTH LOSE, BUT 5 WINS!!

"You've GOT to be joking?" I said, fully puzzled.
"That's easily the dumbest card game of all time
So, what, we just sit here, and stack up our hands...and
No matter what, we call a 5?"

She then scratched her finger up hard on her jawbone
and said "look man, it isn't me that makes the rules...
I'm merely concerned with the teaching, the playing...
The execution of the game"

We sat on my front deck, what must have been for hours
Just emptying hand after hand of all our cards
At some point she left, but I really can't remember...

Back to the game. Devote my brain, but it ends the same, no matter what I do.
My patience thin, my manic grin, I'll never win - no, 5 will. Every time.

You and I both lose, but 5 wins.

It's been such a long time, since I've seen that lady
(this all happened back in two thousand and five)
Try as I might to resist the temptation...
I'll still pick up this deck of cards

And though she is gone now, I'll always remember
The day she taught me of this blasted waste of time
But the thing is, dear ,listener, I can't stop from playing

Along she came, without a name, and a stupid game
Impossible, and still...
Just one more time!
I'll turn to find
Maybe THIS time, arghh I can beat the 5!!!

no.

You and I both Lose, but 5 wins.
Track Name: Whatever Makes You Feel Superior
Thanks a lot for sharing this. I like it when you speak so passionately
Wait, there must be more than this? I tend to tap out momentarily
Every time I close my eyes, I marvel at the power of the mind's persuasion
How can I not realise? Who am I to judge? Who am I to disagree?

But when you're ramming like the Ram Man, that's when I know it's time to go and get my coat
Gagging, choking, puking, when you're forcing your opinions down my throat

But whatever makes you feel, whatever makes you feel superior.

Somewhere in those hateful eyes, there must be a glimpse of humility and acceptance
Somewhere it that grumpy heart, there must be an opening to back when you were young.

Look at your friend's faces, don't it look like they're not having any fun?
It becomes less about your theory, and more about the feeling that you've won.

But whatever makes you feel, whatever makes you feel superior.

When you learn you can control it, maybe you’ll realize its the best you’ve ever had
And it’s simple when you see it, find it within yourself to just be cool and rad.

Whatever Makes You Feel Superior
Track Name: The Thing With Me
The thing with me (aside from struggling to get to sleep)
Is that this doesn't come that easily, despite the past and all the history
I struggle with the continuity, or I lack a certain sense of subtlety
I like to finish last, and I kinda chase the past. Oh yes, and see
The thing with me, is that I often think I'm in too deep
Compulsively and, yes, obsessively, maintain it's down to lack of scenery
Or maybe just because I'm la-hazy! Content with an absence of bravery
The malison of art, is knowing when to stop, and knowing how to start.
And the thing with me (besides my mental health discrepancies)
Is that I feel I'm a catastrophe, I break down when there's an emergency
Riddled with envy & with jealousy, I've learnt to be content with misery
I'll always lose the plot. I cannot join the dots. Oh yes indeed;
The thing with me, is that I'm often contradictory
I'll like to try to see things differently, I'm often left in such a quandary
I think I think way too contrarily, so I'll share my thoughts quite sparingly
My cheeks are full of dents, from sitting on the fence

And I don't know how to deal with when it stings, So I'll think too much of funny things.

The thing with me, is that I find it hard to do it properly
It's not that I'll just wander aimlessly, or that I have no sense of decency
It's hard for me to take it seriously, the problem's thinking too destructively
I'll live it in my mind, and it'll make me less inclined, and so you see
The thing with me, is that I lack originality
Perhaps I just have no integrity, and maybe steal too much from royalty
But it's in my blood, this trace of Mercury, it's been there since I was in infancy
I should just let it drop, but it's getting it to stop

And I don't know how to deal with feeling sad, And I think that I'm well and truly mad

And I don't know how to deal with being wrong, All I know is this is taking WAY too long...

The thing with me (besides the things I mentioned previously)
Is I enjoy too much of my own company, cut ties like a social vasectomy
I'm always struggling financially, but I'd rather live my life romantically
Passion over paid. I guess it's how I'm made
And the thing with me, if I could say one more thing finally
I live & think a bit too lexically, obsessed with words and vocabulary
And I always eat so damn unhealthily, I'm on the cusp of plain obesity
And I find it hard to breathe so that's the thing with me, now what's the deal with you?
Track Name: What Kind Of Creature Am I?
Started once upon the thyme, where a lot of brave and awesome stories start
Under some old oak and pines, in the time between the summer and the winter
Rolling in an open grave, we see an egg about the size..uh..of an egg?
By a monotreme was it laid? Or maybe by a GIANT MADE OF ROCK? ;) oh!
Never mind it's origin! We hear and see the egg (of course) begin to crack
And slithers out, a creature grey, wearing tiny face full of wonder
From a slither to a crawl, the creatures of the bush all introduce themselves
Little things like "I'm a bird!" or "I'm a fish!" or "I'm a hungry snake!!" (Scream)
He met a lot of things that day, and surely went and met a few ones more
Walking now, he found a lake, and he was heard to say;

"See. Me? Is that I in Lake reflection? Sloth-hairy, bat-of-a-wing, but
Thorny & horned like a rhino? Scale-tailed not unlike a dragon, oh!
What kind of creature am I??

Heading further in the bush, it came across a weather-beaten sign -
"Annual meeting of the owls - the smartest creatures in the region!"
It was something of a barbeque...they were feasting there, on whiskey and sardines,
When a crackle under clumsy paw caused them all to stop and turn around....
"We’ve never seen a thing like you! And we’ve seen every creature known to owl!"
Gazing through their monocles, with their heads all a-swivelly (as owls do)
Then, an information overdose, consulting every book that they could find -
Everything from “Count the Frogs!”, to “Pigs and Hogs", to "Spot the Cephalopod!"
The parliament was at a loss, hooting puzzled, till one came forth and said
“Oh! We haven’t got a clue! But we know who will…”

Jewel-eyed? underbite fangers...and whiskers? Claws, paws and toehidden™ blisters
Surinam-toad-backed, with ink sac!
Funnyboneless, and what's that? A blow hole there on the back of its neck?!?

It travelled west (but too far inland...), following the leaf & charcoal map exactly as the owls had drawn.
“It’s there” they said, “the weird all-knowing dwells. With mushroom suckers, and enormous brain (proportioned to its brawn.)
Diving in the waters for the first time was at first alarming, (calming though it was, eventually)
Following the pulsing rhythm of the triple-hearted one, our poor protagonist was heard to speak
Failed to feel the water slowly boil, absorbing into bone
Gigantism setting in and turning muscle into stone
What kind of creature AM..... I?
Track Name: Smash It Out
Sorta thought I had it covered till the flicker and the flame threw up from the bottom of my throat
And the weasel had a weasling till he came and did this thing and was all, like, “hello”.
You know me man, you know I ain’t as good as that!
It goes round in my mind, forward, backward in time, it goes in and back out, it goes in, it goes o..
Looks like I may have picked a winner! Going against all that I thought I stood for.
A little unwind from nursery rhymes, it’s better than I haven’t thought about
You don’t know me girl, you see I ain’t as strong as that
Conjuring familiar, I ain’t one for Brahmacharya, when all I really need is to breathe.

Swiny sacks of sorrow, snorting swill up in their snout.
I’d rather SMASH IT OUT!

Too much glitter and not enough chime
Over-stayed too much of my time
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
Cut your losses, at least you had a little laugh

Left arm is your handle, but the right is not the spout?
Go on and SMASH IT OUT
Track Name: Spoilt For Choice
You'll only ever be as good as the dumbest things you've done
And you'll keep replaying all those arguments you never won
And you'll never "see the light" if you've been staring at the sun
I'm as bad as you are when it comes to all these things
Trading rationale for shooting stars and magic beans
And we'll cradle up our secrets like they're worth their weight in dreams

But it is what it is, not what it could or should have been
And for all it is, it ain't what it was
Searching for cause in an endless reasoning
When the reason is, well, it's just because

I remember that abandonment, I still feel it in my face
The muscle memory pokes my cheeks with blissful laughing aches
The fatiguing fits are gone now, but I guess the smile won't fade
It's easy to be let down if you're casting out too far
And yes it's hard to be yourself if you don't know who you are
Always want to wish upon that never-falling star

Hands tied like a hog, tired & teared up like a child
Clenching your hands into fists
There's down turned and twinkless wrinkles in your eyes
And I know it doesn't seem so, but there is

I was dead when I was young, I'll be just as dead too when I'm old
Ever since the burning passion charred & became a scarring scold
Now I'm cursing at the staring sun, just wishing it was cold.

So much more than what it takes to survive
It's all sorting the men from the boys
Spent my days feeling like I was so damn deprived
When all these years I've just been spoilt for choice
How could I not have seen I was spoilt for choice?
Track Name: Whoa
What a stupid way to end my holiday
I’m writing this to let you know that I’m not okay
I’ve boarded up the windows and locked up the gates
A pen in one hand, in the other, a serrated blade
by the time you read this, it will be too late.

like a wolf with its howl at my door.

Whoa!

I started out okay, until the trouble came
And with it, sullen blank-eyed staring...rot in the veins...
There’s nothing in the way of much to celebrate
I guess its best to cut myself off, to isolate
It’s lucky, in a way, that I’ve got shit for braaaaiinnsss
Like a wolf to a house made of straw
(We’ll blow the damn house in…)

Whoa!

I can’t escape it, aw they’re tryin to get inside of my head
I can’t depend on any friends, to me they’re pretty much dead
With barely 5 steps from the door, and I’m surrounded in sin
I feel the stares, all around me, chaos caving me in

Consider this a warning, fully laid out in a letter
I tried to call for help but I was stuck, I guess I’ll never remember…
Oh so clever…


What an awful day to spend in sheer dismay
I never ever thought that I would go out this way
What a stupid way to end my holiday…

Like a wolf with my neck in its jaw

Whoa!
Track Name: Under The Future, We Bury The Past
On a Tuesdee it was, or maybe it was Sundee
My memory’s foggy and flaky at best
5am start, I put my big old hands to working
And when the boss wasn’t looking, I went for the axe.
With one solid blow, right there near the axe stand
I lobbed off my right hand, just sliced it clean off
And smart though it did, and it took much endurance
Used the cash from my insurance to pay for the ring

TELL IT RIGHT - NO MORE YOUR FIBS AND LIES
NEVER A SEASON LASTS - UNDER THE FUTURE, WE BURY THE PAST
She always hid out in the shadows in the sand dunes
And one night by the full moon, I took to one knee
I knew she was shy, but when I did show her
The ring I done bought her, she started to cry

TELL IT RIGHT - NO MORE YOUR TALL TALE LIES
NEVER A SEASON LASTS - UNDER THE FUTURE
WE BURY THE PAST

That night that she kissed me, her feathers and wings fell off, I’m telling the truth
Your Nan was a harpy, and her talons are still right there, inside her shoes...
Track Name: Meet The Sloth
Painted gold, and looking old, the ornament sat on the counter
Fingers cold and sinking souled, the woman was biting her nails
Granny said, it'd keep them fed, this mysterious family heirloom
But he shook his head, said "maybe $10?", the man at the second hand store
She stormed outside scratching her skin, cursing her Nan on her Dad's side
Pictured her wrinkly grin, and threw the thing in the bin...
Her little kid (let's call him "Syd") woke up the next morning for breakfast
Pulled up the lid of the kitchen bin, and saw what his mother threw out
He pulled it out, and wiped it down, didn't even finish his cereal
A little mount just popped right out, and out fell a tied up old scroll
A picture of a moss-covered cave
& Syd just made out the inscription -
"To them that are seeking the gold must be prepared to
MEET THE SLOTH AT MIDNIGHT - HERE BY THE ROCKS
MEET THE SLOTH AT TWELVE O'CLOCK ON THE DOT
BUT IF HE'S LATE, DON'T BLAME HIM
HE'LL BE BUSY MEASURING THE VERY APPROXIMATE DISTANCE…”

He bellowed out "I'm going out!" and put on his big yellow jacket
"Without a doubt, I'll save the house!" He followed the map on his bike
And look at him, just pedalling & ferociously head for the mountains
With bleeding shin and dribbled chin, onward and upward he rode
They’d have nowhere else they could live
And Ma wasn't great with finances
The man from the council, would give ‘em only 1 or 2 more months
But he met a swamp, he had to stop. His bike would no way make it over
And through the fog he saw the spot - the cave the map had detailed
Too many rocks, no way to cross - at least not that he was aware of
At a loss, the chilly frost blue’d up the poor lad’s lips and face
Consulting the map one more time, smoothing his hand o’er the wrinkles
He scratched off the dirt and the grime, there underneath said -
MEET THE SLOTH AND WAIT RIGHT THERE BY THE SWAMP
WAIT FOR SLOTH TO JOURNEY DOWN FROM THE TOP
LET HIM GUIDE YOU, FOLLOW HIM
TRUST IN HIS PERMANENT GRIN

On the rock, patiently waiting for the 3 toed one to come
He sat and watched out there for hours
Was half-expecting him to crawl out from the black disgusting cave
When there he hung...
And slowly down he climbed from the Cecropia tree that hung overhead
So gently so….
With a giant calming smile, he greeted Syd and handed him some leaves
The kid politely tried to eat.
With outstretched arms, he motioned the direction the two of them should head
Syd followed up....

hmm hmm hmm….

[it is said that the spirits of the forest keep track of every life]

Time would go, and wrinkles showed the journey, it just took forever
20 years? 30 years? Who knew exactly how long?
And as you know, sloths are slow, and they only get older and slower
He felt done wrong, but before long, was hit with epiphany.
Blissfully inhaled the breeze, and opened up to his surroundings
Took one more mouthful of leaves, and he just carried on
Syd too was old, and all that gold, it no longer seemed to matter
It’d been so long, his mother's gone, surely she died by now
Not alone, he felt at home, at one with the forest and creatures
The sloth he smiled (he ALWAYS smiled) laid down in the flora and passed...
The moths flew and fell from his fur, now a meal for a family of pumas
And Syd would not dare interfere with the fate of his friend

LEAVE THE SLOTH BEHIND AND KEEP HEADING NORTH
LEAVE THE SLOTH ALONE AND KEEP GOING FORTH
FOLLOWED BLIND, BUT FOUND YOUR WAY
THE GOLD STILL SITS THERE TO THIS DAY
IN THAT GROSS MOSS-COVERED CAVE...
Track Name: Geese Lycan
I am the one you fear at night
and though by day my coat is pure and white,
with blood soaked feathers, clad in leather I’ll...
PECK! PECK! PECK! PECK!

All shall fall when I waddle the streets,
For tonight it's more than bread I’ll eat,
And in your dying thoughts – my blood curdling honk!

I thought it just a tale/ I thought Pop just had too many ales
Now my hands are shaky and my face is all pale
I better run, run, run
When the goosebumps crawl and the hair stands on end
You better hide in the bushes, or wherever you can
Part goose, part wolf....but I hear he's ALL man ;)

Please, O Great Goosey,
We've done no harm!
Spare our lives, won't you?
Hear our plea...

I DON'T THINK SO.

AHHHHHHHH!

“ITSA GEESE LYCAN!”

HOOOOOOOONK...

All is lost, so offer up your daily bread,
Sacrifice to the winged ones.
Lay down your crumbs at their webbed feet,
You may be spared from the frenzy of the mighty feathered beast.