It's been a long time since a band has released a debut album as cohesive, appealing and enjoyable as this self-titled work by London, England's Toy. Comparisons to various guitar- and rhythm-heavy bands of the past 30 years run hot and heavy, but the quintet holds up under scrutiny. From singer/guitarist Tom Dougall's speaky vocal delivery to the barrage of keys and strings and dreamy, psychedelic bits, there's a lot to captivate us.
Music this layered and swirling often forgoes melody for atmosphere, which can be okay, too, but Toy manage to be psychedelic and craft memorable pop. Single Lose My Way drips with Jesus and Mary Chain-style honey. Midway through the album, amid the motorik beats and guitar wobbles, is My Heart Skips A Beat, a lovely ballad that could replace the Cure's Lovesong as the romantic soundtrack for misfits everywhere.
Top track: The Reasons Why