Album Review

Join the Dots

Join the Dots

by TOY

6.5 / 10
19th December 2013

Reviewed by Steve Newall

When youíve got a band name like TOY (in all caps, no less) itís probably going to take a bit of work getting people to take you seriously. The English five-piece accomplished a bit of that thanks to last yearís self-titled debut album, a likeable if somewhat slight mix of psych, kraut, shoegaze and pop possibly best dipped into via the music videos for Motoring and Left Myself Behind. Some critics raved about them and so did The Horrors, though the album came off a bit like a naÔve, less fully realised version of The Horrorsí own Primary Colours at times.

This follow-up sees TOY back in the studio with Dan Carey, who manned the boards for their first effort. Opening with a seven minute instrumental that at one point seems to repurpose elements of Eye of the Tiger and Airís Sexy Boy at the same time - a good thing! Ė is a wise move, letting the band get noisy and show off their chemistry (and pedals). As the songs shorten and vocals arrive it becomes evident that their palette has widened slightly to accommodate more of a Byrds-y jangle in places. But they songs are still a bit unmemorable, blurring into one another and seemingly failing to capture the essence of an apparently awesome live band. Join the Dots is pleasant enough, but not unique, cool or catchy enough to really carve out an impression.

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