Melted Toys self-titled debut.åÊ Culminating three years after their acclaimed Washed & Dried EP first unveiled the group's distinct blend of hazy, plaintive pop and psychedelic electronica, the full-length reigns in squarely as the group's most definitive vision yet. It comes on as a sort of sanctuary-in-transit, inspired both by the shifting visions of dreams and global travel, so that each of the twelve passages flicker and flame with equal impression.
Melted Toys is Stephen Harkins, Daniel Rosado, Brian Wakefield, and Ole Haarstad. Their casual bond laces the languid pop with an unpretentious melodic language. It's both downcast and serene, resembling the catalog of mid-career FELT, where Maurice Deebank's somber leads colored each and every detail, rather than just issuing showy statements at predictable intervals.
Highlights along the album spark from timely synthesizer voicings as well, mixed in fantastic contrast against the shadowy mid tones of Wakefield's bass and Haarstad's metronomic, motorik drumming style.
The three-year wait for this debut irked followers and friend's close to the band, but it was caused by one of the members leaving a laptop containing all the initial work on a San Francisco BART train. So it goes, and Melted Toys seems to have used the guffaw to their advantage, as the band re-located to Los Angeles, and singer-guitarist Harkins ended up traveling to Beijing, Tokyo, and Taipei, where he wrote an additional half of the material.
"Bummed Out" signals the albums opening tone with a wiry lead from Rosado, a kind of circuit-bent guitar hook that practically finishes Harkins' nodding out sentences. Further along the first side "A Postcard" unfurls the most somber portrait of the LP, but forgoes lulling in self-importance by trodding against a snare heavy loop, and sneering delivery.
Tracklist: 1. Intro 2. Bummed Out 3. Horizons 4. Press A (Habitat) 5. A Postcard 6. Blush 7. Always 8. Water Arches 9. Joy Fit 10. Observations 11. Come On 12. Citrus Honeymoon