London psychedelic pop band Toy's 2012 self-titled debut made a big impression, and many credit it with setting off a small psych rock revival in the UK. Their sound is an intoxicating blend of 70s Krautrock, 60s British psychedelia, NYC proto-punk, some 80s post-punk and a healthy dose of 90s shoegaze. On their follow-up, they have taken the if-it's-not-broke approach: it should satisfy fans, but it's harder to get excited about.
Things kick off promisingly with the robotic, chugging, instrumental groove of Conductor, which dissolves into washes of filtered guitar noise reminiscent of the Jesus and Mary Chain's wall of fuzz. But their music is best when the reference points span such a wide range that you stop picking them out and the album seems to exist outside of time and trends.
While they're great at the dreamy soundscapes, Toy are not as strong with fractured pop songs, and the vocals could still use some work.
Top track: Endlessly
Toy play the Horseshoe Tuesday (January 14).