The Toy Dolls – Our Last DVD?

The Toy Dolls – Our Last DVD? / 2006 MVD / 72 Minutes / http://www.mvdb2b.com /

Why is it that The Toy Dolls look exactly the same as when they started out their career in 1979? Why is it that when I’m not looking at the screen and just listening to the style of their music, I am not sure whether this is 1980, 1990, 2000, or 2006? The video is sharp as hell, but there is not much happening at any one given time in the middle of a track. The Toy Dolls stand there without much in the way of movement; while the music is bouncy, when the band is playing, the band is not. Unlike with a great deal of the punk bands out today, the crowd at this concert is loud and voracious in their support of The Toy Dolls. Each line of their chorus (during tracks like “Dougy Gird”) is shouted back at a level that even rivals the vocals that are amplified by the house PA.

A number of the bands that have been together for an extended period of time (The Adicts, The Toy Dolls, The Vandals) have the unenviable position to make music that stays true to their previous style but is something qualitatively different than anything else that they have released. The Toy Dolls do just this with songs like “Barry The Roofer”, which has a lot in common with “Nellie The Elephant” (a track that is featured towards the end of the DVD), but has a very different style. During songs like “Bless You My Son”, there are two distinct traditions present in the guitar work on the track; there is almost a rockabilly feel during the lines around the chorus, while the stanzas have a much more quick / California (Vandals) type of sound.

The band has had enough in the way of albums that there is no need for any covers; individuals in the crowd do not seem to be bored in the least during this extended concert (72 minutes, which is enough for almost three punk albums). There are a number of cameras present to showcase the punk insanity of The Toy Dolls, but the majority of the shots are of the straight-on variety. Of course, the band is the focal point of any concert DVD, but I would like more in the way of dynamic shorts; instead of jarring a viewer’s perception with the quick-switch shots, how about having more natural movements (a camera on a track or even just a handheld walking around). The Toy Dolls are the one punk band that truly, absolutely, and positively needed a DVD of their exploits; now since “Our Last DVD” is on the market, perhaps some older Toy Dolls shows can be located, cleaned up, and pandered to the masses? The music is without reproach, and even a few little problems cannot bring listeners down from the euphoric high that watching The Toy Dolls will create.

Rating: 7.0/10

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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