Friday 28 March 2014

T.O.Y.S - EP3

EP review by

Can you imagine what would happen if you got Talking Heads, put them in a room with Interpol (on one of their less boring days) and made them listen to Holy Fuck for a week? What I'd imagine happening is them coming out of it all with a record that sounds not unlike 'EP3'. The Leeds trio don't half make a big racket for such a small outfit, and they seem to be improving too. The six tracks here aren't blessed with the greatest amount of variation in the world, but if they were to force such actions then the result would probably be a bit disjointed. 'X-Static' gets things underway and is full of beans but also full of beef. You could describe them as an indiepop band, but they'd be the school bullies at the college of indiepop, having the rest of the pupils hiding their faces behind their cardigans. That's not to say T.O.Y.S are intimidating, more that they're very robust and solid.

There's heavy use of organ and what sound like other analogue electronics in tracks like 'Koko', but this set of songs is one big plateau; there aren't any ups and downs, it's all the same quality, and they've set the bar higher this time around. Given the driving basslines, beats that give off a groove and the use of electronics, these tracks are surprisingly danceable. The brilliant, moody 'Crystal' even has a touch of 'Parts & Labor' about it, and that can't be a bad thing. They keep things coming at a rate of knots, with 'What To Do' using some muscular bass and battered beats to drill home the point, but they couple this with the melody and lightness of the sound effects that become the focal point until the vocals jump in. The piercing 'Indeed, But' keeps up this frenetic pace, and by now you realise that they're going at this thing with all guns blazing, like a juggernaut of post-punk, electro-rock and indiepop all thrown together with a great ear for detail and plenty of ideas. It's with the melodic 'Stay Home And Write' that T.O.Y.S finish, and it has the same energy and determination that has hallmarked the whole of 'EP3'. Personally, my lucky number is four, and if these guys keep progressing like this then the next release might even see them manage to go one better. Then they'll really be a crown jewel of the UK's underground music scene.

T.O.Y.S' website

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