CD Review: Otto/Noise Toys

First things first: I like The Banana Split EP – It’s a split that really grows on ya by Otto and Noise Toys. It’s also one that I was really excited to hear, since I hadn’t heard any non-live recordings from either band… and they go together like beer and pizza. Perfect.
I’m presented with a dilemma when it comes to Otto’s half of the EP. I’m torn between thoughts that lower tempo, spaced out rock music isn’t usually my style; and the realization that every time I listen to the singer’s voice, I’m being converted to this band one warbled croon at a time. I first heard the EP’s opening track “How Old” two weeks before writing this review, and the song is still stuck in my head.
Noise Toys’ half of the EP starts strong and doesn’t let up.  As expected, since they have one of the best drum and bass combos in Bellingham. Their rhythm section is complimented by two very creative guitarists, who keep their guitar effects tight to the rhythm throughout their tracks. This sold me, because there is a very distinct line between “well crafted effects rock” and “sloppy/lazy effects rock.”  They’re the first one.
The only drawback is the EP needs is polish – Several vocal performances could be stronger, from both bands. It may grow on you, but it also has the potential to blow you away on the first listen. Its clear that these bands are doing EXACTLY what they want.  They should be commended for that.
– Andrew Beer