Tuesday, June 23, 2015

1991, The Toll "Sticks & Stones and Broken Bones" cassette

Continuation of Cassette Tuesday is the sophomore release of
The Toll "Sticks & Stones and Broken Bones"

Produced by Matt Wallace (Faith No More, Replacements), Co-Produced by The Toll, Geffen Label
Unfortunately this was the last release by The Toll. Only 2 albums under their belt but they gave us a lot to think about. The Toll seemed very prolific in their songs from this album. If it came out now it would be very political from their comments on war in “War Is Release” and “American Mess” to our freedom of speech on “Tongue-Tied River.” As well as race in “Colorblind” and “Hear Your Brother Calling” asking us to not turn a blind eye. 

The opening track has very clever lyrics on “Tongue-Tied River” as they list some famous authors

I put Keats in a bottle
And Twain on a raft
Sent Swift down a river
But someone blocked the craft...

On this album The Toll work more on the music and decide to let up on the narratives. They mention their last tour after three months everybody wanted to hear the narratives. This doesn’t mean they dropped the narratives during their live shows. 
Also The Toll has guest Rapper Brett B who gave some new sounds to “War Is Release” and ”American Mess”.

…can’t see no stars
stripes look like bars…
- American Mess

“Hear Your Brother Calling” was based on a psychology behavior study. Circone writes about 3 scenarios where people are in trouble were ignored or aided by others.

…in New York City Kitty Genovese was murdered in the street 
for forty-five minutes thirty-eight people just stood and watched her bleed…

This also came from an experience Circone who told in a RAW magazine that in the early days he was walking out of a club late at night when someone sucker punched him in the nose which came very close to penetrating his brain. Circone includes a narrative for this song.

One of my favorite tracks are “Standing On The Ledge” and “Sweet Misery” the latter is The Toll at their finest. 
If “Sweet Misery” was intended as their swan song they went out w/ a bang not a whimper. It includes great musicianship, lyrics and a cadence that is from The Toll Armed Forces. To The Toll I salute you.

1991, The Toll "Sticks & Stones and Broken Bones" cassette

Sticker on Plastic Cassette Cover


Cover unfolded

Inside Cover unfolded

Side 1

Side 2

At my former web page I received an email from the Brett Mayo the drummer of The Toll

Email Response by Brett Mayo drummer of The Toll...

I saw your posting and checked out your site.  I really liked what you put together, thanks. 
I was the drummer for The Toll and relish the experience we had together.  All four of us are currently living in Columbus and see each other occasionally; only Greg the bassist is currently in a band--the rest of us never pursued anything beyond The Toll (personally I never thought I could match what we did so why try).
I don't know if you saw on the other site or not but we are currently represented at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland as part of a group of "the best bands and musicians to ever come out of Ohio"--I'll attach a picture (they have my drumhead in the display as our part).
Thanks again for taking the time to write about our band--I agree that it would be very interesting to release a few of the songs from "Sticks & Stone" today--they seem almost as if we had written them to describe many of our current global and social situations.

Take Care, 
Brett Mayo 

the inscription under the drum display in The Rock Roll Hall of Fame reads:
#55, The Toll Drumhead, 1991 Collection of Brett Mayo A powerful live band that centered on the intense stage dramatics of singer Brad Circone, the Columbus-based Toll found a devoted audience throughout the Midwest. Formed by Circone and his cousin, guitarist Rick Silk,  the group included bassist Greg Bartram and drummer Brett Mayo. Drawing equal inspiration from Areosmith  and the Clash, the Toll attracted the attention of Geffen Records. The band has released two albums,  The Price of Progression and Sticks & Stones & Broken Bones.

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