The light and the dark. It sounds like a cliche, but the truth is that most music relies on the contrast between the two. Black Sabbath might never have stood out if they hadn’t been darker than anything that came before and current music is dominated by bands that have never even stepped foot into their own shadow. A real challenge, though, is to straddle the line between them. A challenge that Toy Mountains have taken on.
Which instantly gives you several bands to compare their latest EP, I Swore I’d Never Talk Of This Again, too. Deftones are the obvious ones. Their ability to move from airy and uplifting music to darkness has always been incredible, and there is more than a sliver of them on tracks like ‘Full Circle.’ It’s a song that starts gentle but has a discordance running through that soft touch. A discordance that slowly emerges as the song goes on and eventually becomes a full-blown riot.
However, there are also big dollops of bands like Touche Amore in here. That emotional hardcore that can sound as beautiful as it does agonising. ‘Old Friends’ swaps from frantic attacks to mellow introspection and you never quite know where it is going to twist and turn next.
And yet, despite all of that, there is something constrained about this album. There are elements of mathcore but they more a flavour than the whole dish and unlike a lot of bands who play this kind of music Toy Mountains write songs. Whether they drop more into the light or the dark varies track by track but the fact that they are fun to listen to never wavers.
Throw in a lead singer with a Scottish accent to please this particular Scot, and you have a band that demands attention. I Swore I’d Never Speak Of This Again is a six track EP that you want to listen to again and again and has you begging for more. For a band this early in their career it ticks all the right boxes.