tOY. Photo via Facebook.

January and February are slow months for new music. Both tend to drag like one long Monday -- leaving us feeling trapped in the post holiday doldrums. A lot of musicians wait until the summer for maximum sales and exposure.

 But early on, sometimes, something notable comes along to help jump start the year. Here we have the 4th studio album by English indie band TOY from East Sussex, to help us get through a major case of the Mondays. This is a toy that should be appreciated and cherished – deserving much more attention in the U.S. I believe they could be one of the greatest rock bands currently working.

Many including myself, have been anticipating where they would go next after 2013’s -- must be heard -- “Join The Dots” and 2016’s acclaimed “Clear Shot.” 

On their new effort “Happy In The Hollow,” they are experimenting heavily with a sound which was already experimental to begin with and could be described as psychedelic, maybe shoegaze, retro rock or something along those lines.

 TOY sampled heavily from past decades -- mostly the 60’s and 90’s -- which is a very good thing. Both decades are known for producing some of the greatest music of our time. This band looks at making music, as a child playing, full of wonder, endlessly creating, floating and drifting along random thoughts and melodies.

 TOYS’s actual look in the recent past mirrored the Beatles in videos and live performances. Maybe they were just going through a post Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club phase, with long straight hair past the shoulders but their sound indicated that they were doing more than just playing dress up. They could be the more talented cousins to The Horrors and, The Doors’ grandkids when it comes to sound.

 On “Happy In The Hollow,” 2nd track, “Energy” is just that, frenetic, fast paced, punk rock, spoken word, kinetic, encompassed in fast chaotic melodies like life flashing before their heavily eye liner-ed eyes, surrounded by hysterical drums and sax.

“Last Warmth Of The Day” could be a soundtrack to a Hitchcock film, then brightens up and turns into something from a Quentin Tarrantino flick, like clouds passing overhead. There are shades of the 80’s band “Tones On Tale” but TOY still manages to come off as moderately original, a great feat, considering most everything has been done before. “Warmth” fits perfectly with the weather we have been having lately in South Florida.

“Jolt Awake” is one of the best on the album. The driving “Mechanism” -- recalls, “Teenage Wasteland” by “The Who.”

“You Make Me Forget Myself” feels like a distant relative to “The Cocteau Twins,” and a lazy day at Brighton Beach on the Southern Coast of England, where Toy was formed. This is the best track on an album that is very much an album’s album -- meaning it should be listened to from beginning to end to better understand their sound.

Only gripes are that the track order could have been altered for better flow and “Strangulation Day” excised reappearing somewhere as a b-side.

 They were onto something great with 2016’s “Clear Shot.” 

 “Happy in the Hollow” is a little less focused and epic melody wise than their past material -- a sublime understated addition to their near perfect discography. It still holds up very well and a subtle complex intelligence overrides — again.