toyGuitar – Move Like A Ghost
Fat Wreck Chords (2016)
I love toyGuitar frontman Jack Dalrymple; from his fuzzy, indie-punk guitar riffs and old-fashioned ’70s crooner rasp, to his perfect long hair and denim jacket, San Francisco swagger. It’s all good.
In my opinion, Dalrymple’s previous band Dead to Me peaked on their 2008 EP Little Brother. And when he left, none of his replacements had the same charisma. The same infectious, magnetic personality. Luckily, Move Like A Ghost is soaked in it.
Hot on the heels of toyGuitar’s catchy as fuck debut full-length, 2015’s In This Mess, Move Like A Ghost features six hip-jangling new anthems, which I’ve listened to on repeat for days now. Dalrymple’s timeless garage-rock, pop-punk flair is in full-swing on the EP. And in many ways, it’s the follow up to Little Brother we didn’t get to hear – yet, by the sound of things.
By now, toyGuitar’s really nailed their sound down – like Charles Bronson booby trapping a house. There’s jangly, up-tempo rock ‘n roll jams, perfectly crafted slower tunes and more hooks than a ’90s horror movie. The band sounds like a tight outfit, and Dalrymple’s groovy melodies are perfectly backed by drummer Rosie Gonce, bassist Paul Oxborrow and guitarist Miles Peck, who seem to realise they’ve got something special (and allow him to thrive). Gonce’s party-on drumming suits the band’s sound perfectly; never stepping on any toes but getting toes to step.
More than anything, Move Like A Ghost sounds like a good time. A party you’d love to snag an invite to. Short, sweet and memorable. In truth, toyGuitar cram a lot into their 13 minutes. It’s a total trip. A mixed bag of bouncy, in-your-face lightning bolts and swirly slower jams. Dark. Entertaining. And uplifting. All at once. Ending with “Turn It Around,” a “cathartic” Dalrymple ode to his former One Man Army and Re-Volts bandmate Heiko Schrepel, who, sadly, died in 2015. My only complaint is that it’s too short…