Not only is the toy unloved but so is this album. Poland’s Pinkroom are very talented musicians but the execution on quite a few of the songs on “Unloved Toy” leaves me flat. The band are very clearly influenced by countrymen Riverside. Check out the bass sound on the album for an example. The problem is the songs are just not strong enough even though the band performs them well.
I am also not keen on Mariusz Boniecki’s voice. He really doesn’t have the voice to make the songs work. At times the band use sound effects that are VERY distracting, the heartbeat in “I Confess” or the annoying buzzer that starts the album. Sound effects are fine, but when they take over the music or just go on way too long, it’s a problem.
There are good moments on many of the tracks but they don’t always last and often transition to something that feels unrelated. Not to pick on “I Confess” but it starts out sounding exactly like 80s era King Crimson before quickly ditching it and becoming a Riverside song UNTIL the end when it suddenly (I mean suddenly) returns to the opening riff. “In Train” is very Steven Wilson-like but really just influentially and not in quality.
The bottom line is that while Pinkroom have the chops, they lack the ability to craft something consistent all the way through. Fans of Riverside might enjoy “Unloved Toy” enough but the bottom line is that “Unloved Toy” is as uncomfortable as its title.
2. Tides in Eye
3. I Confess
4. Seven Levels
5. Moodroom v.3
8. In Train
9. Unwanted Toys