Album Review: Noise Toys
Since Arizona transplants (plus one from Spokane) Noise Toys started playing around town I’ve had a lot of respect for the amount of basements and living rooms they’ve performed in. They’re one of the most polished live acts playing in town because of it. Since moving here they released The Banana Split with Otto, and are going to be part of the N7E Compilation (coming out later this year) with more than a dozen other local acts. They fuse elements of dance music and garage rock, but are dabbling on the weirder edges of punk, counting Fugazi, Joy Division, and Sonic Youth among their influences.
This six song EP was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Gypster Ian Reed. “The Seed” (which was released as a music video previously) opens with one of the most infectious riffs on the EP. It’s understandable why the band released this song first: it’s really catchy and has a great hook. Bassist Joe Vacca and drummer Matt Cooper provide a solid backbone; they can be really heavy at times and reminiscent of the punk-funk of the Minutemen at other points.
I think the standout track is “Dirt.” It showcases some of the most impassioned vocals on the whole release. It’s one of the faster songs, this coupled with their trademark screeching guitar effects make for an intense song. It breaks down in a really interesting way before picking up again with bass, then exploding in a frantic orgy of screeching guitars and screams.
This EP is a testament to their live shows, showcasing the musical tightness of the group, and the noise that makes them one of the most promising bands in Bellingham right now.