January 27, 2015 - Fat Wreck Chords
No huge surprise toyGuitar features a few members of Swingin' Utters, as this great debut full-length has a ton of that band's energy and punk simplicity, not to mention the familiar treble-heavy production. But the similarities stop there: toyGuitar add tons of fun power-pop elements and no shortage of sun-drenched surf-rock guitar flourishes on tunes like the great "When It Was Over" and "Static Attraction." And they've saved the best for (almost) last: The second-to-final cut "Roller Coasters" is a sugar-sweet melancholy rocker that flies in the face of the all-rawk-all-the-time vibe the previous 10 songs worked so hard to convey. There’s a great mixture of sounds on In This Mess, the end result being a fully energetic and rocking album that is pure punk that is not heard often these days. And although they come from different sonic origins, we can't help but think a short and sweet split record with toyGuitar and Joyce Manor would hit a pop-punk sweet-spot.