Toy Cars

Paint Brain

Written by: PP on 23/10/2018 19:08:52

I've been going through records from earlier this year to discover gems we may have missed the first time around, and one of those is the somber, contemplative debut album "Paint Brain" by the New Jersey-based Toy Cars. They play a brand of indie-flavored, emotionally charged alternative rock that finds itself right in between all three genres, channeling influence from the likes of Balance & Composure, Have Mercy, The Dangerous Summer and many others like them. You know, that dreamy, but a passionate brand of indie/emo that feels heartfelt and honest all the way through.

"Paint Brain" is packed with depth-laden atmospheres, turbo-charged by passionate, emotional cries that occasionally break into scratchy screams, such as those on "Cold" or on album highlight, "Truth Be Told". The soaring choruses are contrasted by tranquil passages, showcasing a classic quiet/loud dynamic at play as we remember it from early to mid-2000s emo/post-hardcore bands. The production is nicely rough and unpolished, adding charm and character to their expression, which is carried forward by the brilliant performance of their vocalist/guitarist Matteo DeBenedetti. His expression is part Moose Blood, part Have Mercy, which is to say it's an emotionally-torn, honest croon that charms its listener on first listen. You find yourself waiting for each moment where his voice reaches the verge of its breaking point before he finally unleashes the raw, passionate scream to provide plenty of climaxing moments throughout the record.

While it's definitely true that Toy Cars sound very much like a product of their influences and thus don't necessarily bring that much originality to the table, "Paint Brain" is nonetheless an exhibit of excellent scratchy emo/indie-flavored alternative rock that feels almost certain for a breakthrough once word begins to spread about these guys.


Download: Truth Be Told, Paint Brain, Cold, Cobwebs
For the fans of: Balance And Composure, Have Mercy, Moose Blood, The Dangerous Summer
Listen: Facebook

Release date 12.01.2018

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