By Stefan Nilsson, Roppongi Rocks
Patrick Donovan and his men in the Toy Called God army are back with a new studio album of groovy but radio-friendly modern American metal.
Toy Called God plays modern melodic metal with an obvious American sound to it. It’s quality and slightly gritty radio rock with an edge and plenty of groove. The new album, “#Socialvangelism”, is the Bay Area-based hard rock band’s fourth studio album. The band’s current line-up consists of Marcus D. Lance on vocals, Patrick Donovan on guitar, Damian Lewin on bass and Jacob Baptista on drums.
The album kicks off with “United Corporations of America”, a modern rocker which sets the tone and expectations for the rest of the album. We get it all on this track: catchy metal, power vocals, great melodies, variation and guitar wankery. Just the way we like it. “Punch Life in the Face” is an Alter Bridge-sounding track and it’s one of the best songs on this 11-track album. But most of all, Toy Called God has managed to develop a contemporary sound that is borrowing from some of the greats but without trying to copy them. “Miss Me” is aggressive but not brutal, melodic yet hard-hitting with guitars that chug along. It’s the album’s highlight for me. “Take a Bullet Not a Selfie” is a terrific social commentary set to a catchy tune. It will no doubt be a live favourite. “She” is a bit different. It’s almost a power ballad. The album also features a terrific cover of The Beatles classic “Eleanor Rigby”. It’s a brave move but Toy Called God pulls it off. Somehow they manage to both stay relatively true to the original song and inject some of the band’s modern metal attitude into the song. The title track “#Socialvangelism” closes the album. It kicks off in a hazy stoner kind of fashion (hello Monster Magnet influences!) and then adds some power rock in the chorus to wake up the listener before we get a splendid guitar solo.
Toy Called God’s album “#Socialvangelism” is out on 18th September via Sliptrick Records.