These days, it is all but impossible to make an original statement. An artist may think that what they have created is new and exciting, only to find later that it has been done before, often more than once. Fortunately, a lack of originality needn't be a hurdle as long as the final product is good, and Toy are a band that knows that there is still plenty of mileage in the jangly guitar/swirling synth/laconic vocal combo.
Right from the first chords they recall the fuzz-drenched psychedelicacies of such acts as My Bloody Valentine, Ride, Primary Colours era Horrors or a leaner, indier Secret Machines. They create soundscapes that swoon with guitar and synthesised strings, layered over a vocal that, whilst limited in range, knows exactly its business and how to go about it.
They do have their own twists on the accepted recipe to keep things interesting, though. Second track 'Reasons Why' is a prime example - opening with a mutant variant of 'Theme From A Summer Place', the song morphs into early Verve as played by people who have only recently picked up an instrument, creating beautiful music more by accident than by design. One suspects that a great deal of effort has been expended to sound so effortless.
It takes a feat of musical gymnastics to simultaneously gaze at one's shoes and beyond the horizon, but Toy achieve it with aplomb, the songs merging into one mighty flow but popping up with moments of unexpected invention to keep the listener on their toes. This is a captivating album from start to finish - especially the final moments of album closer 'Kopter', which rattles along with a sudden burst of energy and pulsing rhythm, leaving the listener excited by the prospect of starting the album afresh.
Toy's self-titled offering is as impressive a debut as you are likely to find. To the right person and in the right circumstances, it has the potential to blow minds, even if its moves are somewhat familiar.