Toy


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Toy (2012), 6.5/10
Join the Dots (2013), 6/10
Clear Shot (2016), 4.5/10
Happy in the Hollow (2019), 4.5/10
Songs of Consumption (2019), 4/10
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London's quintet Toy (vocalist Tom Dougall, guitarist Dominic O'Dair, bassist Maxim Barron, synth-woman Alejandra Diez, and drummer Charlie Salvidge) resurrected psychedelic rock of the 1960s via Los Angeles' "Paisley pop" of the 1980s for the generation of the 2010s. After the usual sequel of singles, which include Left Myself Behind (2011), Motoring (2012), Dead & Gone (2012), Lose My Way (2012) and Make It Mine (2012), the debut album Toy (Heavenly, 2012) delivered more substantial music, notably the effervescent ten-minute closer Kopter a relentless distorted space boogie that weds the Stooges, Neu and the Standells. The seven-minute Dead and Gone is an intriguing mix of Syd Barrett and Velvet Underground that unfortunately collapses in an embarrassing refrain and then in an uninspired jamming coda.

Join the Dots (Heavenly, 2013) is a mildly entertaining and nostalgic trip via a catchy single (Join the Dots, with a cosmic guitar break) and a great instrumental (the seven-minute "motorik" space dance Conductor), ending with the lengthy jamming coda of the ten-minute Fall Out of Love (one wishes the first three minutes had been omitted, a pointless pop ballad).

Clear Shot (Heavenly, 2016) marks a retreat into soft melodic material, painfully evident in anemic songs like Fast Silver and in the seven-minute closer Cinema, an amateurish imitation of some mellow Velvet Underground litany.

Happy in the Hollow (Tough Love, 2019) contains the trivial single Sequence One (2018) and the jangling cowboy-evoking folk-rock of The Willo with Doors-ian organ (perhaps intended as a parody?)

Songs of Consumption (Tough Love, 2019) is an album of cover versions.

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