Tone Rodent
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Tone Rodent


Band Rock Alternative


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Critic's Pick"


Tone Rodent

The drums pound relentlessly, a steady throbbing beat with little forgiveness. The bass is in lock-step with the kick drum, throttling a few notes as if they've behaved very badly. The guitars chug along on top, rattling windows with power chords strummed up and down, up and down. A theremin floats eerie, ethereal sounds above it all. A rumbly vocal is almost buried, mixed way down below the instruments. This is a Tone Rodent song, "Amen," from the band's eponymous, locallY released album. But it also is a template for much of their material. They're in the same ballpark as such English shoe-gazer bands as Spacemen Three and Spiritualized. Tone Rodent conjures a thick sonic stew of rock and ambience.
-BY STEVE PICK - St. Louis Post Dispatch

"Best Eclectic Nominee"

A leader of the ever-marginalized local space-junkie genre and perhaps one of St. Louis' most underexposed bands, Tone Rodent rocks cosmic without any dead-horse flogging or stereotype crutches. (In other words, this isn't cock rock.) Live appearances are rare and sporadic, which, combined with the band's aural and visual aesthetic, often leaves audiences mystified yet spent. Too melodic and rhythmic to be called noise and too comfortably abstract to be called...well...normal, Tone Rodent sometimes evokes the MC5 after an overdose of mysterious gold-speckled pills. At other times Tone Rodent brings to mind the flippant adoration of Metal Machine Music-era Lou Reed riding to Venus on a great speckled bird. But the group always offers up an exciting cocktail of technology-driven sound washes and driving rock & roll thrust. - Riverfront Times

"Red with purple flashes?"

When rock & roll becomes self-referential, it is as inane and purposeless as the visual arts at their worst. (Note well: The garage is that part of one's home that eventually becomes a depository for broken gadgets and yesterday's mildewy bored-game sensations.) There is, however, a quite dissimilar path one may travel, one which leads through vast expanses -- strange hieroglyph bleeps and buzz-saw horizons. Red with purple flashes?

Tone Rodent, by their press-kit admission, play "Post-Maximalist Hard-Psych-Dreamcore" music, a genre some of you may recognize by its alternate nom de plume, "Space Rock" (or, as I like to chuckle dryly to companions over a snifter of Asti, "Soundtrack for Exploding Fudge Noir"). In truth, however, each of these descriptions captures only a fragment of Tone Rodent's overall output. When appearing as an effects-laden guitar duo, the partners produce screeching noise alongside gentle hums as the occasional crackle of feedback or the sound of a tortured cable loops on and on, providing jerky cadence to the washes of distortion. At other times, one encounters Tone Rodent as a stutteringly melodious four-, five- or six-member band flaunting very danceable rhythms in addition to the aformentioned screeches, washes and looping disconnection. Either way, the best possible condition for a live experience of the group is slightly more than slightly inebriated, eyes closed, swaying and stumbling as patterns converge and morph just behind one's eyelids.

With the rising popularity of imports like Sigur Rós and Mogwai, as well as the eastward thrust of California Shoegaze (as typified by the Warlocks or Black Rebel Motorcycle Club), I foresee a day when the sweaty guitar of anti-frontman Adam Watkins will be held aloft over screaming hordes of teenyboppers as heroin flows backstage and Christina Aguilera just can't seem to get on the guest list. When that happens, I will perch, disgruntled, in the shadows at large clubs -- dribbling rum down the front of my shirt and cursing under my breath at young girls with pierced buttocks flashing views of their genetically engineered cleavage at the band.

But until then, the ghostly bubble-drone of Tone Rodent's saturated dirges will thrill me mightily every time I see them opening for overrated national acts who merely feign interest in the sort of holographic expansionism these guys have been honing for the past several years.

- Riverfront Times

"Critics' pick"

Originally conceived as an outlet for visual artist Adam Watkins' aural experimentations, TONE RODENT has evolved into a couple of unique entites: a 4-person ensemble for the occasional live performance, and a somewhat more experimental, less structured recording unit. Both, however, center around Watkins’ musical vision, one that both frightens and inspires. On disc, things tend to be a little more atomospheric an unstructured, with spoken-word samples mixed in with the effects-laden guitars. But both versions of the Rodent have one thing in common: sheets of feedback and amps turned up to 12. Don’t miss a chance to see Tone Rodent in their natural environment, at the Crowe T. Brooks Gallery on Washington Avenue. It’s an experience not to be missed!

"Not for your average club-goer"

Tone Rodent’s not a band that’s going to play the local disco or corner pub every weekend. Or every other weekend. Or every other month, for that matter. Instead, they plays carefully selected gigs, at venues open to sounds that would be brushed aside as too harsh or abrasive for your average club-goers.


– New album recording and tracking underway- new lineup new songs
– Self-Titled Album – TONE RODENT – October 2004 – order on Itunes and CD Baby
– Christmastime single – Bert Dax Cavalcade of Stars, Christmas Album – November 2003
– ...And Shine Until We Fall Down Mini-Album – December 2002 (self-released)
– Stand In Space (Is All The Space I Can Stand) LP – September 2002 (self-released)
– Are Your Dreams 3 Sizes Too Big? – July 2002 (self-released)
– Demo(n) EP – June 2002 (self-released)
– Double LP: Fall Down/Play Dead – February 2002 (self-released)
– A Visit To Leisureworld LP – August 2001 (self-released)
– Empathy Hours LP – April 2001 (self-released)
– Space Available LP – January 2001 (self-released)
– We Learned To Ski – September 2000 (self-released)



Tone Rodent (TR) is a sonic, psychedelic, heavy shoegaze/space rock band compared to the likes of Spacemen 3, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Spiritualized, My Bloody Valentine and The Velvet Underground.

Tone Rodent sprung to life in the fall of 1999 with an initial concept rooted in creating layers of sound washes through manipulation and experimentation. Since then TR has moved from a soundtrack-type ambient drone to a sonic rock band.

TR has shared the stage with: The Black Angels,The Fall, Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Warlocks, Low Flying Owls, Lab Partners, Crimson Sweet, Valiant Thorr, The Forms, Bahrain and Primordial Undermind to mention a few.