TOY - Clear Shot
The Brighton five piece look set to continue their meteoric rise amongst the indie set with the release of their third album Clear Shot. Since the release of their self titled debut in 2012 there has been no stopping TOY as they have garnered much critical acclaim from the music press and peers alike, securing support slots for big arena tours from the likes of The Vaccines, before settling in for a quieter 2015 to work on their latest album. Psychedelic is a very comfortable word to throw around and stick to a number of emerging bands of late with these groups drawing heavily from the 60s movement with spaced out vocals and droning shoegazing guitars, but still sticking to a more traditional song structure. TOY’s first two albums could certainly be seen to fall into this category. However, prompted by the departure of founding member Alejandra Diez, the approach to album three sees TOY take this template and casts a wider net across the genre.
From opener 'Clear Shot' with a swirling wind and off tempo guitar strum that borders on shoegazing territory, the track mutates part way into a bouncier animal. This is Clear Shot in a nutshell, taking what could be a simple idea and flipping it on its head. Still drawing on 60s psychedelia, the rest manages to draw a larger well of influence. Album highlights include 'I’m Still Believing' which manages to blend The Byrds like guitars with a New Order beat, 'Fast Silver' evoking a modern day Sergio Leone western, 'Another Dimension' with its sudden tempo changes, and the sparse waltz-like album closer 'Cinema'.
With a glut of so-called psych-rock bands emerging onto the music scene, it takes something extra to emerge above the rest to get yourself noticed. With their third album, TOY have managed to do so by incorporating the 13th Floor Elevators influence from their first two albums and stirring in influences ranging from Ennio Morricone and John Barry, to Folk music, Acid House, and Pop. By refusing to stagnate, TOY, like GOAT before them, are taking the idea of psych rock and giving it a breath of fresh air.