Here come TOY with their fourth album but their first for the Tough Love label. Like previous work it touches on the cornerstones of post-punk, kraut-rock, electronica and folk but this time comes with a directness perhaps missing from earlier work. Recorded both at their home studios and with ace producer Dan Carey, this propulsive record could be their most realised yet.
Limited Vinyl LP £17.87 TLV118LPC
Indies only “Behind Blue Eyes” coloured vinyl LP on Tough Love. Limited edition of 1000 copies.
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- Coloured vinyl
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Vinyl LP £17.99 TLV118LP
Black vinyl LP on Tough Love.
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CD £11.49 TLV118CD
CD on Tough Love.
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Limited Vinyl LP £22.99 TLV118LPXX
Dinked edition LP on Tough Love. Comes on transparent vinyl with alternate artwork. Includes a bonus 7" single with two secret tracks. Limited edition of 700 hand-numbered copies.
One of the reasons it's hard to stick around for long as a Norman's reviewer is that it's hard to lie for years on end without it somehow affecting your psyche in strange ways. I take that back - we never 'lie' as such but Toy are the sort of band we feel we have to maintain an enthusiasm for. Customers love them, they have the right kind of influences that should set us off in a tizzy but then you listen to the records and they are just ....there.
Happy In The Hollow is exactly like the other Toy albums I've heard in that it's very pleasant to listen to hazy kraut/psych that singularly fails at any point to knock my socks off. Each time after reading the burst of enthusiastic publicity that comes with their records I expect an album that could, say, rival The Horrors 'Primary Colours' as something tangible that could excite the listener. Maybe Toy aren't meant for excitement but instead their point in life is to make mostly inconsequential drifting that whether by it's laconic lazy delivery or by it's general niceness you don't actually want to switch off.
Happy in the Hollow suggests that Toy may have a future making eerie fingerpicked folk that heads back to the strange world of Syd Barrett. Both 'Last Warmth of the Day' and 'The Willo' are lovely dappled delights - the former sort of recalling Public Image 'Poptones' if it were performed on acoustic instruments -the latter a spiritual drift with some interesting chord patterns.
Elsewhere we get a bit of stoned sounding kraut rock, things that sound like Spiritualized on morphine and stay with it long enough the odd flash of inspiration- You Make Me Forget Myself is a rather delightful laconic haze piece that strikes just the right kind of shoegaze wallow. But overall I can't connect - is there something I'm missing here? Do I not smoke enough dope? Answers on an @me please.
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- Happy In The Hollow by TOY
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