With their third release Clear Shot, TOY reaffirm and deepen their ongoing sonic experiments. With every record, they reinvent ways to keep the listener under their thumb, defining hypnotism with the meticulosity of scientists, instigating mind-expanding narration, textures and atmospheres. A work of near machiavellian significance.
Having a wide array of influences under its belt, the band has partly taken inspiration from some thrillers and horror movies soundtracks for their new record, which fully translates here. The song structures are palpitating and take unexpected turns, capturing your attention and senses and keeping you on tenterhooks all the way through.
The opener and title track “Clear Shot” throws you in the abyss right off the bat, with a very intense and chilly ambiance, as if strong gales were literally going to blow you away. This is a harbinger of TOY’s ability to absorb every bit of the listener and shake them to the guts, as they do with a final tidal wave of guitars that contrasts sharply with Tom Dougall’s soft and luscious voice. His pitch is addictively hypnotic.
The rhythm section and keys contribute to dotting the record with a more cinematic dimension, constantly surprising you with patterns and moods. “Another Dimension” sets a much more mellow tone. Likewise, “I’m Still Believing” makes the perfect dream pop song, catchy and uplifting, with a chorus that remains in your memory.
“Clouds That Cover The Sun” is highly lunar and filled with melancholy, its brooding side makes it increasingly poetic. “Jungle Games”, on the other hand has a very exotic feel and a proper animal beat, a serpentine line that grabs you. As always on this record, the vibes are so picturesque that you can imagine the jungle and its creatures. Spooky!
“Dream Orchestrator” would be an apt moniker for the band as they excel at bringing about oneiric elements. The tune is the most solar and energetic on the album, it is encapsulated with dopamine, as opposed to the sprawling and crepuscular “Spirits Don’t Lie” that leaves you meditating.
The final track “Cinema” reminds of The Great Society’s “Daydream Nightmare” in its spiritual and otherwordly consistency. It alters the listener’s consciousness, blurring the lines between dream and reality. The full record intelligently fluctuates between those streams, injecting lush mental pictures and thrilling cinematic gimmicks and moments. One gets to hear more of these details at each listen. Clear Shot places great emphasis on songwriting, more than ever in the history of the band, creating art that is equally mentally nurturing and sonically opulent . With this effort, the band has reached a new landmark, they sound more modern and definitely have a unique musical signature, they are the dreamers of dreams and the architects of escapism.
Clear Shot is released on Heavenly Recordings on October, 28th.