Skip to main content
A Magazine for

Toy

Toy


Hip. Brooding. Polo neck wearing scenesters. These are just a few labels Toy are likely to endure. However, these non-believers clearly haven't been listening. Creating a debut album that sounds like a bluffers guide to some of the great shoegaze, post-punk and krautrock bands of the last five decades, Toy take inspiration for their psychedelic jams from the likes of The Velvet Underground, Neu and The Fall.

Dark swirling feedback, ominous synth notes and searing guitar transcends for the howling opener 'Colours Running Out', channeling 70s German experimental rock. The understated 'Dead & Gone' gives more of a dreamy My Bloody Valentine feel with its interlocking guitars, slow grooving baseline and simple melodic synth. The vocals are cushioned by a bed of reverb, giving depth to such tracks as the haunting 'Lose My Way' and 'My Heart Skips A Beat', which hint at the bands pop sensibilities through colourful arrangements and warmer, playful melodies. This again comes through on the chorus of the atmospheric 'The Reasons Why', yet the verse still shows dissident ideals with the heavily treated vocals. Although Toy clearly have a love of early electronic music, the minimal 'Omni' adds further texture to the album, drawing inspiration from experimental composer Steve Reich.

One of the reasons the album works so well is the way it captures the vibe of the band's shows. Having spent the last couple of years touring and in part supporting The Horrors, Toy have clearly been taking note. Barely uttering a word, they manage to release the feeling of euphoria into the smallest of venues, with an array of guitar pedals, heavy reverbs and dizzying amber lights all added into the mix for the thrilling Spacemen 3-esque 'Motoring'. The hypnotic 'Kopter' matches the uncompromising, repetitive nature of The Velvet Underground, building to a climax of swelling feedback through the extreme thrashing guitars and shimmering synth lines.

Edgy. Chic. German Art Rockers. Yes, this is of course all true, but Toy have managed to back this up with a debut album that draws on a treasury of musical heritage and favours substance over style (thank god). While a handful of people hang around for the latest trend and new uninspired artists wait for a bandwagon to jump, Toy will be the name on everybody's lips.

by Now Then Sheffield