Neil Young with Crazy Horse


Neil Young and Crazy Horse are known for uncorking an electric-guitar roar that would shame most heavy metal bands. The mesmerizing Toast, while not explosive, relies on distorted electric guitars, with simple hooks and layered textures.

Young’s unique voice and iconoclastic playing alongside guitar foil Frank “Poncho” Sampedro, bassist Billy Talbot, and drummer Ralph Molina form one of rock’s singular sounds. Recorded in 2001 at Toast Studios, in San Francisco, it includes three previously unreleased songs. It’s among the treasure trove in Young’s vast archives that he’s been steadily releasing. The album has been discussed by Young collectors for years, while Young himself has proffered bits of information, explaining the music is about the realization of a relationship’s demise.

Melancholy solos and lightly droning fills flesh out “Quit.” The catchy “Standing in the Light of Love” is melodic pop filtered through the band’s power and glorious guitar distortion. Known for their epic jams, the 10-minute “Gateway of Love” and 13-minute “Boom Boom Boom” don’t disappoint. The former features a section with a surf-rock tone and riffing; the latter is a hypnotic wing-stretcher with tasteful soloing and muffled, jazz-trumpet accents. In all, Toast is Neil Young disciples’ bread and butter.

This article originally appeared in VG’s October 2022 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

No posts to display