Brighton, it’s been noted, is home to many a great musician. Royal Blood, The Kooks and Rizzle Kicks (yes, them) — to name a few. But within this sunny seaside town where indie music has found its new home are TOY, who nestle somewhere in-between shoegaze and post-punk. ‘Clear Shot’, the band’s third album released on the eminent Heavenly Records, blends late ‘80s synth sounds with their notable gothic tone.
‘Clear Shot’ is evidently the band’s third gamble; providing the music scene with something different. The one-minute intro to opening track ‘Clear Shot’ offers a sense of isolation from the world around us — that is, until lead singer Tom Dougall’s hypnotising vocals are projected, reminding us that TOY are anything but playful. While the spectral synth sounds of ‘Another Dimension’ reflect a very different side to the Brighton boys.
Despite looking something like the love children of Robert Smith and Morrissey, the band seem to have ditched parts of the dark, gloomy sounds of their previous work and begun to experiment with more synth-led tracks like ‘Dream Orchestra’ and ‘We Will Disperse’ showing off a more jangly, psych-flavoured edge.
It’s essential to note that the band have not lost their signature shoegaze sound over the six years they’ve been creating music, and fans need not ditch their black turtlenecks just yet. It’s been three years since their last album and with that comes a more mature experimental album that ends as it began — with the satisfaction that shoegaze will never die. ‘Cinema’, lasting almost seven minutes, can only be described as a work of art, a piece that Tim Burton and fellow goths would embrace with open arms. ‘Clear Shot’ is an experiment rather than a third album. It’s one that sees TOY testing the water for the future blueprint of their music, which seems only to be building on its successes.
Words: Brigid Harrison-Draper
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