This debut album from UK rockers, Toy, gleans inspiration from krautrock and post-punk, but shoegazing psychedelic pop would be a better description of their sound.Toy doesn’t try to push the limits of psychedelic music. The strongest songs flow smoothly on a washed-out groove and from the first track, there’s a feeling of something familiar, something old, something borrowed.  But a carbon copy is hard to find; it stems more from the unoriginal approach. The Morning After Girls – The Dandy Warhols of New Zealand – was the first group to come to my mind, despite their more energetic style. Comparisons have been made to Joe Lean and The Jing Jang Jong, with a few Toy members hailing from the once-hyped now-defunct band. Their UK contemporaries, The Horrors, are also an inspiration, but neither band sounds anything like Toy.  They’re definitely less jagged and moody. Ultimately, Toy sounds like a group of talented British stoners trapped in vintage psychedelia.
Guitar pedals propel most of the album with some organs and synthesizers adding texture or melody. The more avant-garde offerings, like “Strange” and “Kopter,” show off their krautrock influence but crash and burn in their own excess. Lead-singer, Tom Dougall, brings a too-cool-for-school attitude that lends itself well to “Motoring” and “Make It Mine,” but veers too close to disinterest on the many lengthy or lengthy-feeling tracks.  “Reasons Why” and “My Heart Skips A Beat” feature more distinct arrangements, with the latter being the best of the bunch. As a whole, this debut is very uneven and it’s obvious that Toy doesn’t know how to wrangle their influences into a cohesive product, just yet. I love mellow psychedelic rock albums but this one is a little pretentious and uninteresting for long periods of time. Still, it manages to be appropriate background sound to a chill night with friends. (Heavenly Recordings, Matthew Dyck

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