Fronted by squeaky glamour puss Frances Noon and backed by the musical talents of Lazlo Legezer, Alfonso Pisanelli et al, My Toys Like Me are a synth-pop group with a gritty passion and unwavering charm when it comes to forward thinking music. This London band stepped into the underground music scene limelight back in 2009 when they released their debut album "Where We Are", that was met with substantial acclaim and merit from industry experts. However this is a band that like to work with an air of mystery hidden behind thick closed curtains. The group have had a tumultuous year so far; their drummer upping sticks and moving to Canada and a serious burglary at their recording studio. Negatives aside, this band have whipped together, knuckled down and furnished an album that is supremely well constructed and optimises the steely determination alternative bands pour into their work. Titled "Come On Sunshine", the name itself shows this band is holding its head high and looking forward. Sounding like a mix of C.S.S., Dragonette, Sky Larkin, I Blame Coco, The Tings Tings and Metric ground together and churned out and with the magnificent "Freak" as a single, there is no doubting My Toys Like Me will meet expectations.
"Freak" starts off briefly as a five second jaunt of menacing ticking and whirring, promptly followed by the stark and piercing vintage vocals of Noon. Harking back to the hollow wooden sounds of the 1940's and 50's conjures up imagery of miscreant sidebars, tailored Soho dressage and juvenile radio nostalgia. The amalgamation of retro and contemporary creates a dynamic fusion that works harmoniously and with fluid ease. The whole song is underpinned by quite possibly the best thumping and fluctuating bassline heard this year; masculine, bewildering and mountainous, it shoves the song along into a dizzying sprint fuelled by tempestuous synths, bleeping hi-tech effects and a ruthlessly murky back beat. The lyrics are voluptuous and somewhat sordid "You know you're a freak...I've seen the Lycra in your room"; unashamedly vivid and forward, they expertly portray a side to sexual playfulness and fetishes that only Rihanna and her "S&M" smash hit single dared caress and place into the mainstream spotlight. The turbine-derived whomps and propeller-esque bass rotations add a depth of character to the song, helping it evolve into a monstrous behemoth of brash beats and slithering synths; manipulative and seductive. If there is one criticism for "Freak" it would be that some parts of the song don't gel and work as one, feeling too separated to create a powerful presence. However, with Noon's tantalising candy-coated vocal form, both feminine and coy and the engineering prowess of musical instruments meets oily electro, "Freak" continues forth with agreeable energy and diligence, keeping the listener hooked until the last dying musical swoop.
View the sexy video for "Freak" below and visit the My Toys Like Me Facebook/Youtube/Myspace to give them some of your online lovin'.
OH MY! - "KICKING AND SCREAMING"
Oh My! are the northern duo of Alex and Jade who met in a dance school then teamed together and relocated to London to produce their debut album under the guiding wing of respectable record label 679 and rapper Example. Signing to 679 seems to be the wisest thing for this twosome as fellow label-mates Little Boots, Spark and Marina And The Diamonds have proven their critically acclaimed worth with respectable chart success. Oh My! have certainly put themselves in good stead. However, for reasons unknown, these two enchanting girls seem to feel the wrath of pointlessly obnoxious and demeaning writers. Comparisons to a female Jedward, remarks of their music being "tacky", "cheesy" and "bitterly disappointing" are quite shocking and overly cruel. These girls split opinion; their marketing ethos is perhaps the reason behind the negative jibs. Oh My! are tainted with commerciality, youthful attitude, mildly arrogant pep and sheepishly nonsensical lyrics, but, that's what is invigorating and refreshing about these two. The music caters for the enthusiastic pop-happy electro-synth niche that excites teens and twenty-somethings; slamming their Oh My! ego hard into eardrums aplenty.
"Kicking And Screaming" was released two months ago as the first single to drop since being in the 679 stable. The song has been met with mixed and divided opinion, even more so due to the fact that chart topping maestro Example has helped work and produce Oh My!'s first album. Subsequently they are already being touted as "female Examples", which seems unfair and unjust. Despite the whirlwind of pessimism, this single is a scintillating blaze of a tune and deserves some praise. "Kicking And Screaming" starts off with a punctuating stab of grinding synths and a dysfunctionally bashful bass that pushes the song up to a heady rate of knots. The vocals start off with juvenile spirit and assertive intonation dominating the song in its entirety and nudging it along as the background elements coax one another with a provocative twist leaving the vocals to mull around haphazardly on the surface. The song is overambitious in areas; pockets of clattered noise erode the charm and detract from the lyrical humour, but thankfully this doesn't really tarnish the song in general. The lyrics for "Kicking And Screaming" are seemingly what stands the track out from the usual chart savvy singles that bleat on about love or something along the lines of women, cars and money in LA. Oh My! sidestep commodity with abrasive wit and absurd sentences; "I'm kinda like a scratch upon your brand new car...enjoy a night with me you'll have a fair few scars". Pointless rhyming and sloppy poetic diction doesn't add class or sophistication to the track, but it does make it fun, colourful and simplistic. With erratic electro-synths, breezy pop beats and splattered vocals for good measure the duo's marketing concoction shows similar traces to that of Ke$ha, If The Kids, Mika Miko and Be Your Own Pet. Either way, if Oh My! don't rack up sales, they may well be kicking and screaming, but we all like a spirited fighter, don't we?
Check out the delightfully random music video below and show these girls the usual Facebook/Youtube/Myspace love they deserve.