In 2013, hot on the heels of releasing the stellar Poorly Formed, Swingin’ Utters members Jack Dalrymple and Miles Peck decided that it wasn’t enough to have put out one of the best punk albums of the year, and started a new band called toyGuitar, quickly releasing a 4 song EP. Now a line-up adjustment, two years, and another Utters album later, toyGuitar have finally released their debut album, In This Mess.
Much like the band’s self-titled EP, In This Mess is equally indebted to both punk and garage rock. Even though the energy generally stays consistent throughout the album, the band still shows off their ability to transition seamlessly between songs, from the frantic title track to the mid-tempo “Static Attraction”, or at the end of the album when the band breaks out the near-ballad “Roller Coasters”, only to explode directly into “Loose in a Room”.
Despite the fact that the band was initially started as a project for rejected One Man Army songs, the songwriting on In This Mess has a lot more in common with Dalrymple’s contributions to the last two Swingin’ Utters album. This similarity in sound is warm and welcoming, but there’s still enough variety (seriously, listen to “Roller Coasters”) to justify recording these songs with a new band instead of spitting out a b-sides or demo album.
In This Mess is a rough and raw listen, but with plenty of melodies to work their way into your ear canals. toyGuitar have blended garage rock and pop in the finest way possible, resulting in the first great debut album of 2015.
4 / 5 – Stream It Below.
RIYL: Toy Dolls, Buzzcocks, Foxboro Hot Tubs
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