After a fair stint of trial and error, Toy have polished up their motor skills and unleashed a prismatic London style upon the world. Leaving behind the insecure precursor ‘Joe Lean & The Jing Jang Jong’ they have built upon the trio with two more and thankfully renamed the band. TOY are: Tom Dougall (vocals / guitar), Dominic O’Dair (guitars), Maxim Barron (bass / vocals), Alejandra Diez (synths / modulations) & Charlie Salvidge (drums / vocals).
The self titled debut has been roughly two years in the making. It lives up to or maybe even outshines ‘The Horrors’, who have championed the group from their shaky beginnings as Joe Lean and The Tantrums way back in 2006. The influence such an ally has had on the band’s sound is obvious and I dare say Toy wouldn’t be who they are today without such support. Though who can say? It is certainly not a mirror image. The album muddles New York and London 60s psychedelic with 70s krautrock and late 90s shoegaze. Just when the world was starting to think Is This It? Toy helps us find a nue paperhouse, an octopus under a marquee moon.
The album kicks off warmly, then pulls up right along side you and offers you a motoric ride with ‘Reasons Why’. ‘Dead & Gone’ hits with an unwavering glare, driving drums and guitar successions over dreamy vocals, which drift in and out of consciousness for roughly 8 minutes. It is an awesome track and the definite favorite. They have to get a decent video happening pronto because ‘Dead & Gone’ is a room on fire. ‘Drifting Deeper’ immerses you into an undulating bassline that lulls under waves of ostinato. The only track without vox – an instrumental that proves Toy are all good with not forcing it. ‘Kopter’, by title alone shouts out to the band’s many influences rather obviously. This ‘paying homage’ approach weaves through all compositions and lyrics with a heavy thread. Still, the band achieves uniquity. ‘Motoring’ articulates all intentions very clearly too. Offering up propulsive drums and gazey lyrics, which lap around you keeping the sound authentic despite the songs pop overtones. Toy are going to have to be diligent they don’t fall into what I call hipster beer commercial sountrack territory. I loath music that sounds like it was made for a new sports car or sneaker or beverage advertising campaign. Toy in no way does this yet. Now if they stay true, they have every potential to be legendary.- Theway Peoplestare