Toby Oler: Hillbilly Mind Eraser (self-released, 2021)

March 14, 2022 at 8:57 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Toby Oler: Hillbilly Mind Eraser

Toby Oler plays banjo, but this album is far from what you’d expect from the instrument, especially considering what happened to banjo music about a decade ago (a certain web forum likes referring to that music as “hoot”, you could also think of it as “mustache and Mason jar-core”). Instead of hoedown music for people who dress in overalls and go to haunted hayrides, this is like deconstructed ambient bluegrass, with some shoegaze-ish feedback on noisier tracks like “1010”, which also features electric bass swimming through aquatic synths. His friends are credited as playing singing bowls, drones, acoustic guitar slides, mandolin, while Oler himself adds an “etc.” after his banjo credit. “0000” is a pretty fantastic psych-drone unraveling which curiously ends at a melody which seems like it’s about to lead to something brighter. “8080” is a more spaced out group sorcery session that stretches out for 10 minutes. This is a far different, more psychedelic approach than the space country of SUSS or Andrew Tuttle’s electro-acoustic country/folk, but recommended for listeners into those sorts of futuristic Americana.

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