In the space of just a year, TOY have made the shift from being "Ones to Watch" to the makers of one of the finest rock albums of 2012 and a shatteringly exciting live act, making it all look relatively easy. Through an understanding label, great producer and endless live gigs, the hard graft has the band poised to break into the indie mainstream one album earlier than their mentors, The Horrors, have managed. Live, as the audiences have increased, confidence has grown, this time last year they were timid, almost apologetic, now, their fuck you levels are on auto-pilot.
Starting with their earliest songs; ‘Bright White Shimmering Sun’ and the still astounding ‘Left Myself Behind’, they begin somewhat tentatively, probably something to do with the pack of photographers surrounding them like a bunch of cats around a mouse, but once they’re moved on, TOY lose their shit immediately. ‘Dead & Gone’, one of the best songs to come from these shores last year, is still a devastating piece of work. The rumbling bass compliments the pounding drum beats so crisp you’d swear they came from a machine. The guitar work of Dominic O’Dair and singer Tom Dougall is stunning, fusing stoner raga rock with white-noise laden sulkgaze, they play against each other for four minutes trying to out-psyche each other, the listener wins.
From playing the same bunch of songs for eighteen months, some have naturally become real snarlers. ‘Colours Running Out’ is furious and pumped up, ‘Motoring’ has lost its pop edge and is now urgent and overly eager to end and regular closer ‘Kopter’ has become so anthemic and so crammed with angry euphoria that it’s bound to rip roofs off venues pretty soon. They also manage to drop a new track which fits into the set perfectly. Already sounding like a classic; 'Fall Out Of Love’ is a sludgy seven minuter which is deceptively poppy at the beginning then Charlie Salvidge’s jazzy drum break heralds a druggy psychedelic wig out. Lacing the track with exotic Middle-Eastern sounding synths before it combusts, it’s the sound of Loop covering 13th Floor Elevators with extra white noise oppression.
The need for new shoegaze bands seems kind of pointless with the advent of ‘m b v’ but ‘Fall Out Of Love’ is better than anything from that album and relying on them not spending two decades pissing about on new music, TOY are set to thrill ears for many years to come, bring it.
Words and photo by Chris Todd