With their self-titled debut only a year old, Toy have wasted precious
little time in recording a follow-up.
They’ve supported The Horrors extensively over the past couple of
years, and with their first record
owing much to that band’s ‘Skying’ you wonder how much of the
impetus to make ‘Join the Dots’ so
soon afterwards was born of a desire to begin a gradual move away from
that sound and towards exploration
of more esoteric influences. This is an album drenched in nods to
krautrock and psych; opener
‘Conductor’ has walls of feedback over squelching beats, and the
eight-minute title track, which
collapses into a bass solo at its midpoint, sounds like the soundtrack
for a descent to hell.
Attempts elsewhere at lighter textures – the dreampop of ‘Too Far Gone to
Know’ – are largely misguided, but
when ‘Join the Dots’ gets it right, it’s a deliciously dark affair.
whilst the second half highlights all that was bad about the supposedly acid fuelled decade.
By slowing it all down to walking pace the music gains a sickly sort of sincerity, and no one
wants a sincere acid trip. It’s a shame really – in this digital age
most bands have forgotten how to
make proper albums, with two distinct sides and all that, so whilst
it’s certainly a patchy listen, maybe
‘My Friend Fish’ should be applauded for having a go.
Just make sure both sides are decent next time, Shaun.
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