[2 December 2013]
For their second full-length release, Philadelphia five-piece Toy Soldiers deliver an album packed with rootsy, Americana rockabilly and a whole lot of fun. The Maybe Boys finds the group at their peak. It was recorded “mostly live,” which captures the energy and spontaneity of their performances, and the musicianship is in top form throughout. With blues shuffles, folk harmonies and dirty guitar solos, The Maybe Boys makes you forget where you are and transports you into its own world. As soon as the opening guitar chords of “Tell The Teller” begin, you instantly feel like you’re in an old barn that has converted into a dance bar and you’ve already had a few too many drinks.
Lead singer/songwriter Ron Gallo shows a wonderfully dry sense of humor with songs like “Heart in a Mousetrap”, and lines like “one and one make eleven” (from “Red Dress”) help give the album its fun character and adds a sense of momentum. The Maybe Boys does, however, start to feel a bit homogenous on repeated listens. Though they mix up the songs a bit with tracks like the funky “Forget How It Used To Be” or the dark blues of “I’m Your Woman”, Bill Moriarty’s production is too similar throughout the album, which can make it a little exhausting. Overall, though, the album is enjoyable and feels more like a party you’re enjoying than a collection of songs you’re listening to.