by Joey Cobb
Following last year’s highly acclaimed Happy in The Hollow, TOY return with a captivating album of covers. On Songs of Consumption, the band have masterfully deconstructed and re-worked eight influential tracks, not merely replicated them.
Opener Down on the Street captures the gritty Stooges’ original through the lo-fi lens of Suicide. Singer Tom Dougall’s voice is submerged beneath the pulsing synth bass and pattering snare, creating a midnight mood reminiscent of minimal wave band The KVB. Looping drum machines and modulating drones underpin the record, at their most hypnotic on the seven minute Nico track, Sixty Forty, and providing the euro-disco backbone for the androgynous Amanda Lear obscurity, Follow Me.
Cousin Jane is a dark, scarce mantra, textured with warped tape and sounding even more haunting than The Troggs’ version, whilst highlight, Lemon Incest, comes off much better than the controversial Serge / Charlotte Gainsbourg original.
TOY have truly put their own stamp on a set of songs that would never have otherwise been brought together. The result is a unified and inspiring piece of work that should not be shrugged off as ‘just a covers record’. Songs of Consumption marks the beginning of another exciting stage in the career of one of the UK’s best current bands.
Secret Meeting score: 75