Album Review

Toy Love – “Cuts ” – [Flying Nun]

Thurston Hunger   3/16/2006   A Library, CD

Old Zealand, with Chris Knox and Alec Bathgate. Toy Love has
definitely still got a charge, in parts sexual. Not just as
a lyrical drive on various numbers, but as the backlash to
disco’s dumbed down, emphasis on the booty and its shaking?
But what makes this timeless, are the elements of just good
rock, a bass line that is not brain-drained, the importance
of wordless background vocals, a band that relishes their
looseness, and a lead singer who might be bonkers. But that
singer, Knox, has got the pipes…you get the feeling even
without a PA, he could scream over the ruckus no problem.
These songs still shine 25 years down the pike, and the
scattered vibe of the demos on the 2nd disc only underscore
that. Check out “Ain’t It Nice” with its rock and roll 101,
two syllables for one deals, sky become sky-ee, bluebottle
fly becomes, wait, why’s he singing about bluebottle flies.
Dig the dirgy urge of “Death Rehearsal”, the Television-y
staffer on “Cold Meat,” the paniced zap of “Fast Ostrich”
The oddball ‘armlessness of the “Amputee Song” the free
freaky frolic of “Frogs” and above all the pop perfection
that is “I Don’t Mind.” More sex on that one, and death
raises its suicidey spectre alot here. Plenty of sex,
death and fun! Sense of humor ends up being the antidote.
Opportunity Knox! -Thurston Hunger

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