It’s hard to talk about Bayou Gauche-rock n’ rollers Toastbeards without mentioning the band’s Twitter account, helmed by guitarist and lead singer Rod Naquin. It’s a swirling and existential stream that touches on physics, politics, technology, society, the subtleties of the English language, and the nuances of eastern and western religious thought. It is difficult to find a patten among these sometimes confounding, other times enlightening missives except that they’re bound only by what Naquin may be thinking at any given moment.
This brand of old-fashioned, prolific spontaneity also pours through a Toastbeards’ live show, as Naquin’s expectedly out-there lyrics are held down by bluesy walking bass lines and lead guitarist Blake Brooks’ tendency to launch incendiary guitar solos into the stratosphere at a moment’s notice. On June 20 at the AllWays Lounge, the band’s freewheelin’ style occasionally brought them to the brink of disorder, but the loose composition of songs about Alligator farmers and dogs running for mayor allowed plenty of room to improvise into and out of trouble.
The end result is a sound that seems almost hyper-modern in the way it is wholly uninformed by any notable musical movement of the last two decades. There are no syncopated breakdowns, timing shifts or key changes; but absent, too, is the distracting air of put-on nostalgia that separates the the powerful throwback garage-rock of White Denim from the politely curated retro-stylings of The Black Crowes. Toastbeards’ music also lacks the reactionary bent of new wave punk or grunge, as these tunes do not sound like they were made as a reaction to 80s and 90s popular music. They sound as if that particular music never even existed in the first place.