By Deaglan Howlett | Posted Friday, February 23, 2018
For fans of: Manchester Orchestra, Brand New
On January 12th, Toy Cars released their first full-length album, Paint Brain. Having been two years since their last release (2016’s Sleeping Patterns EP), Toy Cars have used this time to produce a mature, definitive sound. Paint Brain defies the usual “punk” sound of their hometown, Asbury Park. The lyrics are raw and emotional and the instrumentation is above and beyond “local band” expectations.
Toy Cars are made up of Matteo DeBenedetti on Vocals/Guitar, Matt Caponegro on Guitar/Vocals, Chris Beninato on Bass, and drummer Mike Linardi. With multiple tours under their belt, the four are a solid, tight knit sounding group. Beninato and Linardi’s synced rhythm leave a perfect canvas for DeBenedetti’s lyrics and Caponegro’s spacey sounding guitar to truly shine on this release. Not a single note on this release is out of place and you can really hear the amount of thought that went into every aspect of writing and recording this album. Toy Cars gave their fans their greatest release to date.
Paint Brain was produced and engineered by Erik Kase Romero at Lakehouse Recording Studio in Asbury Park. Romero has produced Toy Cars' previous releases as well, including Sleeping Patterns and Letters. Being a longtime producer of the band, it seems like he was an obvious choice to produce Paint Brain, and their choice proves true. Having seen Toy Cars live numerous times, Romero perfectly encapsulated their live sound.
To me, Paint Brain is for anyone who has ever doubted themselves or felt unsure about anything. DeBenedetti’s lyrics are heartfelt and certain. On “Leaving A/B” he sings, “I woke up alone in Tennessee, trying to get back to something I lost that got away from me, maybe I should try.” His lyrics give the listener a sense that he is with them and that he has “been there too.” There is a real “you are not alone” sense to this album that I absolutely adore. Even when he says “I”, the listener can put his/herself in that position and relate to what DeBenedetti is trying to convey. Toy Cars have released an unbelievable album and you owe it to yourself to give it a listen. You can purchase Paint Brain here.