It goes without saying that the best music stems from tangible emotion, the kind of catharsis that it’s hard to find anywhere else, and that’s easy to pick up on if disingenuous. It’s why Touché Amoré’s Stage Four is one of the best albums of the year, an uncompromising, heart-wrenching exploration into what true desolation that comes from loss looks like. It’s hard to put anything on that same level, but right from the first track of Toy Mountains’ new EP I Swore I’d Never Speak Of This Again, there’s a latent potential that could blossom into something pretty special in the future.
They’re not a million miles away in terms of sound either, occupying a similarly melodic area of post-hardcore that relies in embedded intricacies to reach its full effect. Even for an early EP, Toy Mountains already have a fantastic grasp of flow and composition, with math rock riffs bleeding into sombre piano lines and an ear for some soaring crescendos that will serve them very well further down the line.
It’s a similar story lyrically too; there’s a brokenness to Callum McClune’s vocals as he claims “I’m not the man my mother thought I’d be” on Hard Done By, before the utter anguish and hopelessness that’s conveyed in the mammoth closer Sight Reading, with each emotion dramatically magnified thanks to the weathered Scottish croon that the Neils, McTrustys and Hutchisons of the world have made such a workable commodity. Conversely, there’s the slamming angularity of Everything Ends that honestly wouldn’t be out of place on a Dillinger Escape Plan album, and with a huge melodic chorus inserted in seamlessly, it’s hardly an oversight to suggest that Toy Mountains have prowess that extends well beyond their years.
To really nitpick, there’s the odd moment where the band could afford to go a bit harder and push their sound to its utter limit, but that’s pretty much guaranteed to come with time. Right now, I Swore I’d Never Speak Of This Again is one of the most promising post-hardcore EPs to come out in a long time, with the advent of being both inventive and ridiculously infectious working enormously to Toy Mountains’ advantage. They’re essentially destined to be a cult act with a sound like theirs, but if the neglecting of mainstream sensibilities means music as great as this, then so be it.
For fans of: Touché Amoré, Blakfish, Pianos Become The Teeth
Words by Luke Nuttall
‘I Swore I’d Never Speak Of This Again’ by Toy Mountains is released on 25th November on Crooked Noise Records.