The Upshot: The mild but tasty acidic sheen on what are at heart straight-up pop and rock tunes brings to mind the ‘80s Paisley Underground
BY MICHAEL TOLAND
Tight and tuneful, Toy trips through the earth on a wagon of hooks, rather than spacing out for acid’s sake. Clear Shot, the Brighton, UK band’s third LP, brims with catchy melodies and straightforward performances – only the richly layered production really betrays any overt psychedelic influence. Which is fine – with songs this sharp there’s no need for acid rock obscurity. “We Will Disperse,” “A Clear Shot” and “I’m Still Believing” are simply first-rate pop tunes, beautifully crafted, perfectly performed and as liable to hold up played on ukulele and kazoo as on analog synths and electric guitars filtered through phasers. Only “Jungle Games” and “Spirits Don’t Lie” feel like trips to the outer reaches, and then only brief ones. The mild but tasty acidic sheen on what are at heart straight-up pop and rock tunes brings to mind the ‘80s Paisley Underground phenomenon – a movement in which Toy would fit right in.
DOWNLOAD: “We Will Disperse,” “A Clear Shot,” “Spirits Don’t Lie”