The Toy Dolls - "The Album After The Last One" CD Review (MVD) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Toy Dolls - "The Album After The Last One" CD Review (MVD)

The Toy Dolls - 'The Album After The Last One' CD Review (MVD)
UK punk band The Toy Dolls has now been around for 32 years and the US release of their twelfth disc, The Album After The Last One, is scheduled for July 10th (MVD Audio). The Toy Dolls’ music is immediately recognizable as it is a mix between the sing-along working-class oi anthems of bands like Sham 69 and the tongue-in-cheek punk of bands like The Dickies. Unfortunately, the band doesn’t have a lot of name recognition in the US as the last time the band played the East Coast was a two-night stand at CBGB in 1998. In fact, the band has only played five East Coast shows (ever) with the first being a 1986 show at The Ritz and the band didn’t come back until 1997 when they played local shows with No Doubt and Bouncing Souls.

In keeping with The Toy Dolls ever rotating lineup (Wikipedia cites the band as having 14 different drummers and 12 different bassists); this time out mainman Michael “Olga” Algar (guitars/vocals) is joined by Tom “Goober” Blyth (bass) and Duncan Redmonds (drums). While other bands might have changed their sound by adding musicians from two established Fat Wreck Chords acts (GooberPatrol and Snuff, respectively) to the lineup, in this case, it might be these later bands that were influenced by The Toy Dolls. Continuing to stay on the same path they have been on for the last three decades, The Album After The Last One stays true to The Toy Dolls’ roots. The band blasts through eleven new tracks (though “Credit Crunch Christmas” had previously surfaced as a Christmas single last year), a predominately instrumental rockabilly into and outro (entitled “Olgamental Intro” and “Olgamental Outro”, natch) along with three acoustic bonus tracks.

Olga has a distinctive voice (which is very comparable to The DIckies’ Leonard Graves Phillips) but he also plays a mean guitar. The new rhythm section plays right alongside Olga with a locomotive power that is sure to get the circle pit going. Song lyrics range from tales of working class life (“Sciatica Sucks “) to the topical (“Decca’s Drinking Dilemma”) to the absurd (“Dirty Doreen”) and there is even a political number on the disc (“Gordon Brown Gets Me Down”) where I don’t remember politics being a theme on discs past. One of the strongest tracks on the disc is “B.E.E.R”, about which Olga writes in his review of the new disc: “Really difficult to judge a song when its not my own! Anyways, it's a good old Rock n’ Roll tune! What more can I say! With honest Tommy Goober lyrics! Some nice guitar bits too”.

Most of the songs follow the same formula of utilizing bratty cartoonish vocals from Olga to build up to melodic gang-vocal choruses. The one (minor) break from the formula is “Don’t Drive Yer Car Up Draycott Avenue”, sung by Duncan Redmonds, which sounds like an old-school Green Day track. The disc closes with Olga’s acoustic reinterpretation of three tracks from the band’s back catalogue: "Firey Jack" (from Dig That Groove Baby), "Cloughy Is A Bootboy" (from Wakey Wakey) and "The Sphinx Stinks" (from Fat Bob’s Feet).

The Toy Dolls