Toy, the fourth LP from A GIANT DOGand their second for Merge, shows the Austin quintet at the height of their powers. A solid year of road-dogging and woodshedding has made the band tighter than ever, the charging dynamo of ANDREW CASHEN and ANDY BAUER's guitars in lockstep with the primal chug of the rhythm section of GRAHAM LOW on bass and DANIEL BLANCHARD on drums, in the latter’s recorded debut. Lead singer SABRINA ELLIS turns in another masterful performance, in equal parts brash, defiant, vulnerable, and raw. Lyrically, Sabrina and Andrew have a gift for making their personal frustrations and fuck-ups, fears, lusts, and addictions feel universal. While they have always given voice to the weirdos and creeps—showing that their peccadilloes and peculiarities are much more deep-seated and widespread—they dig even deeper on Toy.Still, the band doesn’t sacrifice an ounce of catchiness or charm when tackling issues like aging, agency, and mortality.