Noise Toys: Ferocious and joyful

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Noise Toys. Not to be confused with Boys Noize or The Noise Boys. Noise Toys. Do not forget the name. Before this story had taken form, I had heard brief snippets about the group. Discussions were not regarding their music or their accomplishments, but rather focused on the refreshing amount of excitement this band has for making music. Bellingham has eagerly embraced them with open arms.

Happy attitudes aside, Noise Toys is an accomplished group whose members include Skylar Russel, Matt Cooper, River Fleischner, and Joe Vacca. While the group is currently on a hometown mini-tour for the holidays, River gave What’s Up! an inside scoop on the unique formation of the group. River is originally from Prescott, Arizona. Along with Joe and Skylar, they moved to Bellingham for the accepting music scene. One afternoon while at a coffee shop, a stranger who needed extras in a music video randomly approached the three fellows. With an extra $20 in their pockets and 20 seconds of fame in their future, they ventured over to Glow and participated in a club scene, busting out dance moves to “video game hip hop.” After the deed was done, Joe was chatting up some new friends who suggested they link up with Matt. Matt had just finished playing with a ska band in Spokane and had recently moved to Bellingham. The very next day, they called Matt and the group began playing together. Extraordinary circumstances laid path to a very natural creation of the ever-enchanting Noise Toys.

Their sound is rather hard to describe using traditional genre titles. There are elements of punk, garage and dance. Emotions are better descriptors; Noise Toys is ferocious and joyful. Their music makes you want to dance while still containing enough instrumental content to be interesting. As River shared, “we have so much fun playing music, it’s hard not to have fun watching!” Their musical influences vary accordingly from LCD Soundsystem, TV On The Radio, Joy Division and Fugazi. Of course, along with a “healthy dose of Nirvana and Talking Heads.” Their crazy mixture of sounds is akin to Eagle Teeth, a similarly blissfully jumbled musical group. Noise Toys’ drummer actually went to the same high school as Eagle Teeth’s drummer, so you know that something must have been awesome in that curriculum. Similar to the type of dancing that is usually reserved for those with few inhibitions or aided by liquid courage, there is no necessary choreography to learn. In order to enjoy Noise Toys, it is not necessary to “get” them. Simply letting go and enjoying yourself is the best way to fully experience the music they so gladly share.

Noise Toys is eclectic, happy and determined and Bellingham is the perfect musical home for them at the moment and they are apt to agree. Passionately declared by the group, “Bellingham is like our hometown except less bigoted, more liberal, and more accepting of art. We love Bellingham!”

In the new year, the group plans to truly hit the grindstone. “We’re kind of like a soda can, we’re going to explode if we don’t play soon.”