Record Review: The Island Of Misfit Toys

The Island Of Misfit Toys
Bear Hair
Chicago, IL

“Well-corrugated dissonance, draped in honesty”

Windy City octet Island of Misfit Toys’ latest release, Bear Hair, is a heartfelt folk-rock moodscape of personal desperation and camaraderie conveyed through trembling vocals and accosted chords. Both rhythmically and tonally lush, the album tactfully captures well-corrugated dissonance and is unabashedly draped in honesty and the benefits of being pure at heart.

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LISTEN NOW: “Hermit Crab”

[audio:|titles=07 Hermit Crab]

The sharply titled “Knife-Throwing Academy” is an up-tempo flamenco campfire sing-along that explores the triteness of adolescent love and cheapness of religion with lead singer, Anthony Sanders, belting such sentiments as “Show me the face of my old math teacher/took us to church and he taught us proverbs/then he cheated on his wife with a colleague, while we watched some Spanish movie,” in such a distraught and convincing manner one might envision that Catholic school is as viscous as Roman rule.

One of two title tracks, “Bear Hair 2,” at five and a half minutes, is the band’s three phase epic that showcases their take on Beat poetry before shifting into a manic, post-hardcore, Desaparecidos-esque middle section that is soon relieved by light, songbird organ and arpeggiated croons.

With its open book sincerity and wealth of easily digested melodies, Bear Hair is an artful incident where boyhood bravery and indie rock see eye to eye. (Tandem Shop Records)

Produced by Chris French

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