In This Mess
(Fat Wreck Chords)
Jack Dalrymple has certainly earned the right to put out half-assed records at this point. He started the brilliant pop punk band One Man Army, formed Dead To Me and put out their best record then left the band (and is back again!), not to mention his long residency in the wildly influential Swingin’ Utters. So yeah, Dalrymple gets a pass if he wants to phone it in with his next group.
Judging from toyGuitar’s debut full length, In This Mess, word obviously never got back to him. With nearly flawless execution, the four-piece grab a disparate collection of musical influences, from garage rockers to Thin Lizzy and Mott the Hoople, and yes, a handful of old punk, cram them into a studio and produce a record that is still wholly original. Dalrymple and buddies go way beyond the obvious pop punk clichés to deliver an even dozen tracks that sound like nothing else being put out right now. They transition easily from an electrically frantic song like “On a Wire” to a mellower, but just as solid track like “Roller Coasters.”
Full of swagger, with the talent to back it up, toyGuitar has turned in what will easily be one of the best debuts of the year. (John B. Moore)