lunedì, marzo 07, 2011

Toy Factory - Toy Factory (us psych 1970)

Toy Factory - Toy Factory

Though I haven't been able to track down much bibliographical information on this late-1960s bi-racial outfit, I think they were from Long Island, New York. From the liner notes on their LP I can also tell you George Weiss was the lead singer and was responsible for writing roughly half the material. The rest of the line up consisted of bassist Bill, guitarist Billy, drummer Joey La Casto and keyboard player Sal (great detail there). Regardless of their roots, they seem to have made their recording debut with a 1969 single for Jubilee ('Sunny, Sunny Feeling' b/w 'Sunny, Sunny Feeling' Jubilee catalog number 45-5668).

Dropped by Jubilee, the following year the band reappeared as one of the first acts signed to AVCO Embassy as it expanded its interest in the entertainment industry to music. Produced by Bernie Lawrence, the majority of 1970's "Toy Factory" found the band trying to fight their way through rather faceless MOR pop. Lead singer Greg Weiss had a decent voice, but on tracks such as 'What Is Youth', 'To Live or Die' and 'Honey, Forever' he employed an irritating faux-English accent that recalled The Monkees' Davy Jones at his most saccharine. He also had an irritating habit of throwing mock sobs and groans into the mix ('When I'm with You' and 'Honey Forever'). Strike three came in the form of occasional French lyrics he tossed into the mix ('To Live or Die' and 'Honey Forever'). Curiously, the band were at their best when they cut loose staking out a harder rock sound. In this case, 'No Rhyme To Orange' (sporting a nice fuzz guitar solo) found the band turning in a credible piece of pseudo-psych, while 'Things' offered up a nifty slice of blue-eyed soul. 'Summertime' also found the band turning in one of the weirdest George Gershwin covers I've ever heard. This one certainly won't change your life, but it's one of those period failures that's worth checking out.

AVCO Embassy pulled 'What Is Youth' b/w 'Honey, Forever' (AVCO Embassy catalog number AVE-4533) as a single. Like the parent LP, it vanished without a trace.

Weiss reappeared as a member of the New York-based Andromeda (I think it's the same guy). From RYM ()

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