Totimoshi by Hillbilly Skip

Another great Tuesday night and an excellent array of bands for my digestion at our favorite venue,”Blue Cat’s Live” in Knoxville, TN.  The opener was a band called TOTIMOSHI out of “Cali” . They had a good raw and hard sound and they seemed comfortable in front of the crowd. They also set a good tone for the crowd. A three piece ensemble featuring one of the more commonly occurring and amongst my favorite new additions to “the Metal sport”, a female Bass player.  I enjoyed this band and hope you’ll get the chance to see them yourselves.

 

BIO

Half the battle in describing Totimoshi to the uninitiated is in making people understand that they are not, despite what some might believe, the second coming of the Melvins. What Totimoshi are is actually a highly disciplined, focused band with a sound like sonic impressionists triangulating a signal between the points of stoner rock, old-school industrial (with its ties to the Fluxus movement, noise, and free-improv), and Latin music. It’s these first two points that get them compared to bands like the Melvins; the third is what makes them radically different from all those other bands.

Totimoshi come by the Latin influence naturally — main songwriter and head visionary Tony Aguilar is Chicano, the son of migrant farm workers, and bassist Meg Castellanos is half-Cuban — and it shows up constantly in the artwork, lyrics, and most of all, the music. It’s their subtle Latin approach to the beat that goes a long way toward separating them from the average stoner-rock and metal band, and their commanding grasp of many other genres, some of them what Elvis would have called “real real gone,” is what puts them on another level entirely.

Formed November 1997 by singer/guitarist Tony Aguilar and bassist Meg Castellanos, the two have been slugging it out on the DIY circuit for close to a decade, releasing their albums (Totimoshi-1999, Mysterioso?-2002, Monoli-2003) through uber-metal indie, Crucial Blast, and touring the country with their beloved dogs. With the recent addition of new drummer Bil Bowman, the band is currently writing the tentivively titled Milagroso which follows the re-release of Ladrón, both on Volcom Entertainment.

Produced by Page Hamilton (Helmet, Band of Susans) and engineered by Kurt Schlegel at Lucky Cat Studios., Ladrón delivers bone-snapping heaviness and hypnotic rhythms that mutate without warning into pure old-school country and western dirges, only to abruptly shift into a completely different and unexpected direction altogether. Sequenced in such a manner that it is intended to be listened to from start to finish every time, Ladrón takes listener on a journey that is less dependent upon words, and more on it’s emotionally charged sounds. Delivered in such an endless series of inventive movements, the developing story and mood are never broken from the end of one song to the beginning of the next.

 

Totimoshi’s cryptic, often deliberately ambiguous approach may be heavy on the mystery vibe, but it leaves plenty of room for interpretation of their vision and plenty of opportunities for listeners to form their own interpretations of what it all means. They’re intelligent, unpredictable, respect their roots, and heavy as hell when it moves them.