TOY's Debut Is Fully Charged

TOY are the new snake-hipped darlings of the NME set. They’ve toured with the Horrors, and on the strength of their self-titled debut album, they look set for very big things indeed.
‘Colours Running Out’ is a suitably scuzzed-out opening, with clouds of psyche guitar smothering wistful, echo-chamber vocals. It’s the kind of like having the Cure beamed through your transistor radio from a station in the backwilds of nowhere.
That sets the tone for the rest of the album, which flits wonderfully in and out of focus thanks to the dreamlike guitar, drums and vocals.
There’s hints of the Velvets, Sonic Youth, and all manner of long-forgotten shoegaze units. The motorik ‘Dead & Gone’ is a straight Neu tribute, the pulse of the drums pushing the track forward with blissful force.
Funnily enough, track six is called ‘Motoring’. Other bands would falter when making such a singular noise, but it’s clear that TOY have drunk so deeply from the cups of the bands they love that nothing on the album feels forced, and no clichéd poses are struck.
Other tracks like 'My Heart Skips A Beat' and 'Make It Mine' extend the out-of-body vibe, and as the album glides along, I'm afraid that I'll start drifting towards the ceiling unless I tie myself down with something heavy.
The album closes with ‘Kopter’ a 10-minute chug that brings together everything TOY have pulled out of the bag on the previous eleven tracks.  Serene yet powerful, it grips you by the lapels without shouting the house down. In the great krautrock tradition, it could go on for a week and I wouldn’t mind. Your brain can dip in and out at any time, but it’s easier to keep your ear fixed on everything coming out of the speakers.
Some people might look down on this kind of record-collector rock, but for my money Toy are raiding all the right shelves for their sound. A must have.

‘TOY’ is released on Monday 10 September through Heavenly Records.
James Archer

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