artist: Holy Toy
label: Uniton Records
personnel: Andrej Nebb (bass, song), Bjorn Sorknes (gitar, organ), Sven Kalmar (drums, organ), Rolf Walin (trompet, flute), Anne-Marit Nedregaard (cello)
tracklisting: down in japan, warszawa, marmur, dwa portrety, niebeska patelnia, lad nada, wojtek, bells, buntowniki, planet of violence
some avant-garde rock (or is it goth or is it industrial) this week from a Norwegian band whose Slavic influences helped gain them a healthy Eastern European following during the eighties.
not quite the total doom fest of legend/ expectation, Holy Toy instead throws a number of inventive things into the mix of their debut album. most striking is the band’s use of reverberated and processed trumpet, adding to the haunting atmosphere of ‘Bells’ and the title track. elsewhere, the band explores everything from skewed pop (‘Lad Nada’ and the strange synth riffs of ‘Down in Japan’) to clattering industrial (‘Niebeska Patelnia’) to jazz (a undercurrent throughout). the only thing that lets this excellent album down is Andrej Nebb’s unpleasantly gruff voice, which actively works against the subtlety of much of the music. still, his deadpan warble does perfectly suit the highly charged punch of ‘Marmur’.
truly fascinating stuff.