Bands that form from the ashes of another band often need to return in style to be taken seriously, that much is for sure. Look at Beady Eye, forever known as the nasty mess Oasis left behind, it ain’t pretty and it ain’t new.
Brighton band Toy knew this when they delivered their self-titled debut album last year, a rollocking album of psychedelic post rock that for singer Tom Dougall and members Dom O’Dair and Panda Barron, was a huge departure to the indie-pop stylings of former band Joe Lean & The Jing Jang Jong (Remember them?). Sophomore album Join The Dots is a quick follow up that carries on Toy’s reputation for spookily surreal shoegazing.
Indeed, it will probably come as no surprise to any fans or listeners of the band that the album is somewhat self indulgent. You don’t get the impression that Toy really care when it comes to making a universally adored album but it can be a little frustrating to be short of hits.
Opener Conductor is an introduction in the style of fuzz. Whining synths, echoing guitars and disco drums provide an interestingly thrilling sound that show the musicality of the group is diverse.
Title track Join The Dots further showcases the bands knack for beautifully chaotic noise as bassist Panda supplies a groovy backdrop to a track of swirly feedback and the cavern-esque and nasal vocals of Dougall.
Toy’s sound is enough to make Join The Dots a truly compelling and absorbing record that for most experimental musicians (looking at you My Bloody Valentine fans!) will provide a happy listening experience with plenty to ogle and ponder over.
The pretensions of most experimental indie music is of course there. The melodically brash track You Wont Be The Same could have exploded into a perhaps more commercially friendly chorus but in a sense would probably suffer for it.
Clocking in at just over an hour though, the LP probably wont amaze on first listen, however with time and effort, Join The Dots is worth it. Underneath the less accessible and unpredictable sounds are a band with a penchant for quality ideas. Toy are just an unfinished puzzle, surely on the way to something truly special, all they need to do is Join The Dots.