For the uninitiated, a short history lesson. New Toys were the premier melodic punk band from upstate New York in the late 70’s – from Buffalo to be precise. Heavily influenced by the burgeoning NYC punk scene, both in look and sound, the New Toys gigged for three years throughout Western NY and Southern Canada, developing an appealing, guitar driven heavy pop sound, that was rich in melody and way better than anything coming out of LA at the time (Zeros, Weirdos, Germs etc). Supports with Pat Benatar, Squeeze, The Tourists, The Romantics etc. further solidified the New Toys reputation and following – before a relocation to NYC in late 1981 beckoned. A shot at the big time came unstuck and by late 1982 the New Toys were no more – until now. Who would have thought it ? Almost 30 years later – the New Toys regrouped in May of this year to play a couple of shows and record some new material. ‘Made In Buffalo’ is the result and in one word – it’s fanfuckingtastic! I am overwhelmed by the quality of the songs on this album, and let me tell you why. After 30 years of not playing together, you’d be right to expect that a band may be a little rusty and the magic had gone, but that ain’t the case at all. The chemistry is still there, the band sound great, the machine is well oiled and they sound like they are having fun! The New Toys are even newer ! I What you get are a total of 15 tunes, comprised of eight new recordings of original New Toys tunes, some lives numbers from the May reunion show, and a couple of dusted off demos from 1980. No filler songs anywhere – EVERY song is fucking great ! The album opens with ‘On Our Way’ with a bitchin’ riff and sing-a-long chorus, the band are out of the blocks in a BIG way. Why don’t I hear tunes this good on the radio? This is GREAT. Doug Tyler ROCKS! ‘Let Go Of My Heart’ is another fave, highlighting Tyler’s melodic sensibilities. ’You Don’t Even Know’ is both hooks galore and pop supreme. Doug Tyler has a great voice, is a great guitar player and is a way underrated song writer. He cuts the mustard every time. ‘Stay Away’ and ‘Do You Really Know’, both original New Toys songs sound fresh and hold immense pop appeal. No higher endorsement can be made. These older New Toys tunes sound relevant and current – that’s the mark of great song writing friends. ‘Talking About You’ is another melodic gem from the pen of Kevin K – a man who has written hundreds of ‘em. Of the live material, it’s nice to hear ‘Livin Fast’, first class heavy, duty pop, that originally came out back in 1980 as a Toys 45. Doug Tyler’s Don’t Know Why’ is further evidence of the punch, melodic hook so prevalent in the New Toys sound. Rock ‘n’ roll is lame in 2011 – with a few exceptions, this being one of them. This is one great rock ‘n’ roll album from a band who should have made it the first time around. The second time around, the New Toys are re-writing the script – and all power to ‘em. This Christmas, give the gift of New Toys. One of the top 5 albums of 2011.
New Toys will be holding a CD release gig for this album on December 17 at Club Diablo in Buffalo. Buy the album from CD Baby here