New Brunswick’s Toy Cars released their latest five track EP, Sleeping Patterns, under the Sniffling Indie Kids label this past Friday, September 16, 2016. It has been made available on Spotify, Bandcamp, and Soundcloud for your listening enjoyment. I’ve played this EP top to bottom a few times already, really just digging the vibe and tone of the whole thing. The album exhibits soulful and vivid storytelling, which is characteristic of so many great New Jersey songwriters before them.
These songs are written to their audience of hard partying, heavy drinking, inward thinking, authority resisting, mistake making, degenerate hipster punks, like me and hopefully like you (it’s okay to admit it, that’s why we’re here). The opening track, “Bjork,” floats the chorus, “I made a mess tonight/ Where everybody wins but me/ Sometimes I forget to breathe/ Just breathe,” which I felt immediately set the tone for the kind of ride Toy Cars is about to take you on. The lyrics are pretty melancholy and bask in that hungover, “oh shit, what did I do last night” kind of regret, that, for me at least, is painfully reminiscent of my early twenties (and if we’re being honest, I guess still a little bit today).
Toy Cars is not afraid to strip the music down and let the storytelling carry the album. The lyrics are simple to the point of being minimalist, and where the band really excels is being able to tell a big story in just a single line, such as, “Friends I used to call my brothers left me to die here all alone,” from “Stone.”
But anyway, the album isn’t just all full of woe-is-me, self-indulgent kind of shit like that. The tone changes gears in the next track, “Books,” which lays on a more heavy, driving guitar riff to get things moving. I have no doubt that this track will be responsible for a ton of property damage in basements across New Brunswick for the next several months until the hosts start telling them, “Hey guys, you gotta skip ‘Books’ tonight. My mom’s gonna be pissed if we break anything.”
For a five track, fourteen-minute EP, Sleeping Patterns is full of genuine charm that really continues to sink in the more you listen. There’s no fluff, bullshit, throwaway songs here. The amount of heart and soul spilled into each song is evident and a testament to how much this band cares about the quality of their product. You should do yourself a favor and check it out for yourself, and also, do the band a favor and purchase the album. It costs less than a pack of cigarettes, without any of the disease and regret.
Toy Cars will be having a record release show in New Brunswick on September 22, but you will need to hit up the band for the location. That’s just how these things work.
Adam gave man-birth to N.J. Racket and is as close to an "editor-in-chief" the site has. He's a god awful photographer.