87 And The Toys have released their new EP, Japanesy If You Pleasey, seven tracks which demonstrate the Portland-based trio’s affinity with off-the wall indie artists from across the years, from Violent Femmes and B-52’s to Daniel Johnson and Neutral Milk Hotel whilst retaining a magnificently quirky style all of their own. Japanesy If You Pleasey ponders some of the pressing subjects of the day from goading incumbent Republican governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, over his attitude to COVID-19, to slightly more irreverent subjects such as all-you-can-eat Sushi restaurants to the sadness felt when realising there are no more episodes of BoJack Horseman to binge-watch. Presented in glorious lo-fi, 87 And The Toys bring together their combined American and Japanese cultures to create DIY indie bliss.
Comprising Dave on stand-up bass and guitar; Hana on min-drum kit, piano and vocals and Patrick on rhythm guitar and vocals, 87 And The Toys subscribe to the school of absolute musical purity – no filters nor overblown production techniques but instead a commitment to artistic integrity, the punk rock ethic and DIY production in the vein of celebrated indie labels K and Kill Rock Stars – indeed, their new EP was recorded entirely on 8-track via a tiny Tascam recorder. With Hana hailing from Japan and Patrick having a Japanese mother, their lyrics often find elements of Japan creeping into them (as the EP’s title would suggest!). Listeners can expect to be regaled with tales of journeys to all-you-can-eat Sushi restaurants (“All You Can Eat Sushi”), a song that was written initially as a joke by Patrick when he was trying to convince Hana to go to such a restaurant but is now a crowd favourite; “Rilakkuma County” based on popular Japanese character Rilakkuma the Relax Time Bear and the song Studio Ghibli should be begging to borrow, “LOVE”, sung by Hana in Japanese.
Also destined to sink deep into your psyche after listening is “BoJack”, written by Patrick after binge-watching the cult Netflix animation series and then suddenly finding there were no more episodes to watch and Georgia Governor Kemp, an almost surreally-timed track written about the Republican governor of Georgia (Patrick’s home state) who has demanded businesses such as tattoo parlours and bowling alleys open up just as the Pandemic spikes, whilst voters in the recent US election voted Democrat. Having previously worked with the likes of John Vanderslice (whose studio has hosted the likes of Death Cab for Cutie; Magnetic Fields and Sleater-Kinney) and Elliot Smith archivist Larry Crane, 87 And The Toys are your favourite childhood stuffed-toy, punk rock band and mates down the pub rolled into one.