Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Album Review: dd Toby Leaman - Military Applications EP

dd Toby Leaman
Military Applications
***and1/2 out of *****

Those lowercase d's in front of Toby Leaman's name indict his previous stint in the retro rocking Dr. Dog for the uninformed. Now, with that band retired, he strikes it out on his own and the results contained on his first EP Military Applications sound very much like...Dr. Dog.

Falling under the "if it ain't broke" truism, Leaman's first solo venture is a continuation of that groups catchy indie rock. Perhaps Leaman injects a slightly more electro dance vibe/digital beats than his previous outfit would consistently roll out, but these songs could all successfully slot into a Dr. Dog live set without changing at all. 

The opening "Spooked By The Kooks" is a highlight number, vibrating electro/dance rock with excellent guitar work and a bumping groove (constants throughout the six song EP) as lyrics sing about dancing through the chaos and fear of the modern world. Keys, synths and groove push the title track whose lyric of "I want to ride it 'til it crashes" is engrained in the manic energy of the successful, infectious effort. 

A funky electro groove dominates "Rider" while "Don't Worry" slows down just a touch, but still deploys frantic guitars, ooh/ahh's and warbling keys. "7th Seal" is dynamite and does the neat trick of feeling driven with a marching beat but also aloof and dreamy with a sunshiny wooly electro crackle.

The EP wraps with a more digital beats and even more buzzing guitars as "The Runaway" concludes the strong solo debut. dd Toby Leaman continues to sing with joyful passion (even while delivering apocalyptic lyrics), matching the kinetic energy of the six vibrant songs delivered on Military Applications.      
RtBE are huge fans of Dr. Dog and were a bit disappointed that they wrapped up their career (until the hopeful reunion tour down the road) but things move on. Last week we highlighted Scott's new outfit, today is Toby's turn and it is a winner.

Support the artist, buy the album. 

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