by Daniel Hill
This week's print feature is about local psych / noise-rock outfit Tone Rodent. Tone Rodent has existed in one shape or form since Adam Watkins first formed the project in 1999. Since then the musical endeavor has taken the form of everything from a one-man artistic noise project to a full-fledged six-member band.
Here is an excerpt from the article that describes this transition.
The year is 1999, and art student Adam Watkins is working through a program on a Sony PlayStation to build sound loops. In favor of the art of noise, Watkins recently dropped his paintbrush and acquired some machines from the school next to his own (the Kent Institute of Art and Design in England). One such device, used to teach Spanish, records sound and allows for tone and pitch control, with a foot pedal attached for rewinding. Watkins uses this with found sounds to paint music. He labels the curious resulting soundscapes "Tone Rodent."
Fast-forward to the present: In 2013, Tone Rodent is cacophonous and loud. Watkins leads with a strong, esoteric voice while bassist Matty Coonfield lays the foundation with a lumbering sound. Keyboardist Mark Early brings sharp noise, cutting expertly through the band's musical arrangements. Jeff Robtoy's guitar lends an unhinged edge, channeling noisy feedback and dynamic range. Drummer Adam Dick keeps the beat like a live metronome, gluing each part to its whole. The band's giant sound is punctuated by Ashley Hohman, who backs up with added vocals and percussion. Watkins now fronts a six-piece band and funnels his noisy work through a strict rock filter. Still named Tone Rodent, the band's work can be heard on CD, cassette tape and vinyl.
There is one other way to hear the music that we left off: stream every album online from Tone Rodent's Bandcamp page! Click the image below to be directed to the music.