Boomkat Product Review:
New project from Red Snapper's Rich Thair and Jake One that aims squarely at the electronically informed mainstream and manages to come away with its dignity intact. Made up of a pretty much 50/50 split of instrumental and (all female) vocal tracks, 'How To Spell Toob' can seem almost wafer thin on first listen, seemingly too concerned with grafting together leftfield leanings and pop sensibilities to have much soul. But give it some time and it soon starts to reveal a distinctive charm. Opening track '4 Walls' takes a juddering, electro laced foundation then overlays a rich sediment of pop-informed guitars that is an aural cousin of New Order and similar in style to the Ghostly’s Midwest Project. The first vocals appear on 'Here Enough', with Zoë Bicat contributing a plumy performance that is one part Beth Orton, one part (whisper it) Sophie Ellis Bexter, whilst 'Beaulieu' sees Shingai Shoniwa drifting around the mix as a thrilling Bristolian bass-line patrols below. Yet for all it's high NRG stylings (see the vintage electro-pop of 'Clawing Its Way Back' and the Roy Lee and The Villagers referencing 'Drum and Monkey'), 'How To Spell Toob' succeeds most when it turns down the volume and sets about the red wine. Closing with the beatific double-header of the string marinated 'The Miscreant' and the syrupy Bicat torch-song of 'After', Toob have produced an album that pretends to be vacuous whilst being anything but.