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The Toi: Water Into Wine

Stating influences such as Michael Jackson, The Bee Gees and the Beatles, the awfully named (it comes from a Glasgow expression for a gang, yet even having lived just a few miles north of these boys all my life, I'd never heard of it and the album art ain't up to much either) The Toi may not want to admit it but they've recorded a cracking Melodic Rock album - Water Into Wine - that takes you back to the late 80s in fine style.

Singer Pol Healy, who also plays guitar, has a pleasing, varied attack bringing everything from Kevin Cronin (REO Speedwagon), Michael Eden (ex-Eden's Curse) and Stephen Pearcy (Ratt) to the table. It's a strut and pout attack from the frontman, and yet there's way more substance than that suggests going on here. For The Toi know their way about a melody, certainly ain't shy at throwing out hooks and if there's a chorus to sing along to, then these guys are all over it. "Come Alive", "Get On It" and "Staring At The Sun" are the sort of songs where you subconsciously find yourself mouthing the words right from the first run through and while the ethos behind them may be a few decades old - the results lying somewhere between Eden's Curse and White Lion - the album itself sounds refreshingly current.

Bassist Andy Carr and drummer Stevie McLay put on the sort of performances that this style needs, a certain bounce and grinning good time fun added to Healy's excellent riffs and solos, while the clarity of sound across the whole album is a pleasant surprise. However with Nick Brine, (who has produced Oasis) behind the desk, maybe that's not such a surprise. Add in Dan Hawkins (The Darkness) helping them out with the arrangements and it would be easy to suggest that these lads have had help augmenting what they're about, yet while that can't have exactly hindered The Toi, ultimately it's their songs and performances which stand tall and proud on this debut effort.

Suggesting these lads can turn Water Into Wine would be to presume that what they started out with was bland and boring. However that would do The Toi a disservice, for what makes this album so engaging is its strong songwriting. That said, without the sparkle and flash they bring to the party, the end results wouldn't be as exciting as they are.

Track Listing
1. Get On It
2. Come Alive
3. I'm Still Crying
4. Til The Morning Comes
5. The One
6 Staring At The Sun
7. I Think About You
8. Water Into Wine
9. Cold In The Night
10. Down By The River

Added: January 27th 2015
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: The Toi on facebook
Hits: 2466
Language: english

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