It took awhile for the Toy Garden to really, truly become what it is today. Members left, sounds changed, new members joined … but in the end, the time and effort it took to get to where it is now was worth it. Well worth it. The band spent the greater part of this year recording its debut album, the lushly layered, thinking-man’s A Wolf in Hipster’s Clothing. Serious and cinematic from the time you hit play, the Toy Garden builds a wall of post-rock heaviness with “Wolves” and “Seconds…” — the honest, from-the-gut vocals of singer (and fixture of the band) William Alan skating over the top of it all.
Alan’s experience as a solo performer serves his band well here, giving the heavy, dejected guitars and drums a boyish, frustrated quality. (You’ll see exactly what I mean on “Machinery.”) Don’t come to the Toy Garden looking to get cheered up. But if you listen to the album, you’ll hear songs bursting with sadness, beauty and intelligence. This music is coming directly from their hearts.