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The Toi: Water Into Wine

Put the top down and hit the road.

There has to be something great about an album that sounds like the perfect backdrop to cruising California’s highways in a convertible with the summer sun beating down. Especially when the band in question are from Glasgow – the Sunset Strip by way of Sauchiehall Street. Sort of.

Debuts boasting this degree of songwriting polish are rare, and it can’t hurt that The Darkness’s Dan Hawkins has helped out with a few arrangements, but corking opener Get On It, the brooding title track, punchy Come Alive and lengthy epic Down By The River stand on their own merits; these guys obviously know how to write a great melodic hook and effortlessly gritty guitar groove.

Boasting a host of classic influences – Bon Jovi, Queen, Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake – this is an album that snags you from the very first play and glows with future promise./o:p

Whether it’s magazines, books or online, Essi has been writing about rock ’n’ metal for around thirty years. He has been reviews editor for Classic Rock and Metal Hammer, rock reviews editor for lads mag Front and worked for Kerrang!. He has also written the Rough Guide to Heavy Metal and contributed to the Rough Guide to Rock and Rough Guide Book of Playlists, and the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles (13th edition). Most fun interview? Tenacious D – Jack Black and Kyle Gass – for The Pick of Destiny movie book. An avid record/CD/tape collector, he’s amassed more music than he could ever possibly listen to, which annoys his wife no end.