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MOJO Recommends: TOY

'Mojo' editor-in-chief Phil Alexander spotlights the best new British talent

Fri., March 15, 2013

MOJO Recommends: TOY

TOY

Cedar Street Courtyard, 9pm; Hotel Vegas Patio, 12:45am

In 1963, the dawning of a new mind-expanding era was signaled by the founding of The Psychedelic Review, a U.S. publication under the stewardship of Harvard academic Ralph Metzner, with Timothy Leary as contributing editor, questioning "the age-old issue of freedom versus control" in its very first editorial. Eight years later, the publication ceased, the battle for hearts and altered minds seemingly having been lost.

Now, five decades later, the seeds sown back in '63 continue to germinate, not least of all in a new generation of musicians whose musical intent remains decidedly psychedelic. Indeed, look around and listen carefully enough, and you'll find we appear to have entered a new age of psychedelic music. Moreover, it's become a global phenomenon thanks to standard-bearers that include Tame Impala, Animal Collective, Wooden Shjips, and Austin's own Black Angels. Add to that list London quintet TOY.

Formed just over two years ago, the fivepiece of Tom Dougall (vocals/guitars), Dominic O'Dair (guitars), Maxim Barron (bass/vocals), Charlie Salvidge (drums/vocals), and Alejandra Diez (keyboards) initially rose to prominence when they were championed by their friends and fellow psych-punk scenesters, the Horrors. Since then, TOY has plowed its own furrow, transforming into an increasingly impressive live act. They've also released a slew of fine singles and a self-titled debut LP on the Heavenly label, which received a glowing four-star review in MOJO last September before making the magazine's year-end Top 50 list.

The album's charm reveals itself on first listen, suggesting key influences that range from the shimmering shoegaze pop of Jesus & Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine to the motorik power of Neu! and on to the post-punk isolationism of Wire. Obviously, several spins reap greater rewards, allowing the hidden hooks located on the likes of "Make It Mine" and "Motoring" to emerge, and the nine-minute-plus finale of "Kopter" to take full effect.

TOY's 2013 SXSW sojourn will see them playing two shows today, the first at the Cedar Street Courtyard, 9pm. To see them at their most effective and mind-altering, however, their late show at the Hotel Vegas Patio comes truly recommended.

MOJO also recommends:

Jake Bugg, 1am, Hype Hotel

Josephine, 9pm, Bungalow

Seams, 10pm, Karma Lounge; 12:15am, Holy Mountain Backyard

Tropics, 9pm, Lamberts

Artist / Band: TOY

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