about the gig
Kicking off the second Sub-Sonic Live, a band who are rising to the top of the musical game faster than you can say their acutely short name. TOY have been a band The Horrors have kept close to their hearts over the last year, and it is easy to see why. They have many similarities, be it style or delivery. This is not to say that if you have heard one, you have heard both. They cover a different spectrum of a similar genre, filling the void for what one has left behind. This can only mean one thing if the two were to join forces, and that is a gig that delivers across the board, impenetrable and quite frankly, inspiring.
Standing in unison, a uniformed line seems strangely off kilter for a band these days, well, in any days, unless you are a country ensemble from the late 1800′s. TOY however, have adopted this strange unification. This added an entirely unique element visually, which for who they are and what they play, works in ways you can’t comprehend. To see an almost military style formation be quashed in an intro filled with psychedelic wails and ultra reverb, albeit controlled, is surely what produces great live shows. Something unexpected and invigorating. Their music is an organised mess, they however, are organised. Brilliant!
There was Joy Division, then New Order and agree or disagree, now there is TOY. Behind all that psychedelia, bursting through the seams is a post punk band, one that has evolved from simple drumming. But that New Wave passion is there in abundance. Singer/guitarist, Tom Dougall, stands rigid, brimming with an allusive angst, delivering authoritative urgent vocals. If this was matched by the instrumentals they could fall quite easily into the nearly made it camp, however, this is where they get clever. Where he is minor, they go major, and vice versa, before tying it up neatly, only to throw you into a break of elements seen jittering throughout varied parts of the song. They use each component to their full advantage. They know when they create a sound that resonates and promote it, connecting similarly appealing noises together. The hollow, retrograde sci-fi soundscape illustrated by Alejandra Diez’s Korg and effects, ever present, permeating from background to foreground.
A loop of one riff is enough to hook you in, but clever shifts ensure they do not become repetitive before subtly tying it all together again. When you are a band with a reputation such as The Horrors, you would by all means choose a group to nearly match your own prowess, heightening the whole experience. Just one thing though. To follow a set such as this, you have to be darned good, if not perfection. A support to remember, as they won’t be supporting for long.
TOY is a Korg Delta led five-piece formed in 2010. It consists of Tom Dougall (Vox/Guitars), Dominic O'Dair (Guitars), Maxim Barron (Bass/Vox), Alejandra Diez (Synthesizers/Modulation) and Charlie Salvidge (Drums/Vox). TOY's musical influences incorporate a wide range of genres including punk, psychedelia, krautrock, kosmische, post rock, musique concrete and folk to name a few.
With the majority of 2010 spent writing, TOY played their first show at the Cave Club in Islington. Since then the band have played a string of live performances including Field Day and 1234 festivals and have supported bands such as The Horrors and The Pretty Things. Their first single - Left Myself Behind - is out now. Both sides can be downloaded for free from the Heavenly website - www.heavenlyrecordings.com
"TOY are one of the only truly promising guitar bands we've heard this year, a London quintet who are gaining a deserved reputation for their brain-churning psychedelia."