The Toyes – "Strange Animals"
On their sophomore effort, The Toyes make a bid for the title of Best American Reggae Band. Okay, maybe there's not that much competition. But this is a great album by any standard: production quality is up significantly from the debut, and bandleader Mawg is writing songs even tighter and hookier than before. One thing that hasn't changed is his wicked sense of humor and his manifest inability to suffer fools gladly- "Whatever That Means" takes on presidential politics, while "Waiting for the Aliens" is a ridiculously catchy take on alien abduction theories. He gets maybe a bit too self-referential on "The Show Biz Food Chain," which bemoans the band's inability to break into the national spotlight. But at least he does it all with a grin, and his homeopathy anthem ("Green Doctor") is so sweetly funny that it more than makes up for the occasional misstep. The band is tighter than ever, thanks partly to the bass playing of Fully Fullwood and partly to drummer Carlton "Santa" Davis, a veteran of the Roots Radics band and Bunny Lee's studio. Highly recommended.
~ Review by allmusic.com.
"Strange Animals" Liner Notes
Whatever That Means
(B-Dub: skank guitar | Mawg: other guitars, lead vox | Fully: bass
| Santa: drums, tambourine | backups: B-Dub, Michele De Jesus. Dave Bolen, Mawg)
Waiting For The Aliens
(Mawg: guitars | B-Dub: guitars | Fully: bass | Santa: drums
| backups: B-Dub, Mawg, Dave, Mike Sidon, Michele, Denis Burton)
(Mawg: guitars | B-Dub: guitar | Fully: bass
| Santa: drums, hand drums, percussion | backups: B-Dub, Mike Warner, Mawg)
(Mawg: guitars, keys | Fully: bass | Santa: drums | Backups: B-dub, Michele, Mawg)
(Mawg: guitars, kazoo | B-Dub: kazoo | Jawge Hughes: organ | Fully: bass | Santa: drums)
Business Trip to Akron
(Mawg: guitars | Jawge Hughes: keys | Fully: bass | Santa: drums, hand drums
| backups: B-Dub, Michele)
Pick Yourself Up
(Tony Chin: pick & skank guitars | Mawg: lead, wah and other guitars | Jawge Hughes: keys
| Fully: bass | Odel Johnson: drums | John Cuniberti: tambourine | backups: B-Dub, Michele)
House of Song
(Mawg: guitar, clavinet | B-Dub: lead guitar | Jawge Hughes: organ, piano
| Fully: bass | Santa: drums, percussion | backups: B-Dub, Denis, Dave, Mawg)
What's Your Problem?
(Mawg: guitars | Fully: bass | Santa: drums, tambourine)
Think It Down
(Russ Appleyard: sitar, tampura | B-Dub: vocalizations, guitar
| Mawg: guitars, tambourine, piece of paper | Fully:bass | Santa: drums | backups: B-Dub, Mawg)
The Show Biz Food Chain
(Mawg: guitars, clavinet | Jawge Hughes: organ | Fully: bass | Santa: drums | backups: B-Dub)
Love & Laughter
(Mawg: guitars | B-Dub: guitars | Jawge Hughes: keys | Fully: bass
| Santa: drums, percussion | backups: Santa, Fully, B-Dub, Michele, Dennis, Mike, Dave, Everybody)
Special Thanks to Mother Nature & Sarah Jane Birdsall, David Bolen, Dan Bourgois & The Whole BUG Staff, Bush Doktor, Everyone at Cannabis Action Network, Frank Caruso, All The Coast Interns (Rob, Matt, Joe, Lynn, Heidi), Chris Conrad, Everyone at Cutting Edge Audio, Dr. Demento, Steve 'E-6' Durr, Bob Durr, Laura Glisman, Austin Godsey, Jack Herer, High Times, Lorilynn Imbler, Tory Jensen, 'Native' Wayne Jobson, Everyone at KFOG & Fogheads everywhere, Bob & Shelley Keller, Jill Lynch & Family, Lamont & Tonelli, Tamara Marston, Robert 'Reef' Melendez, John Melrod & The Crew at Aztlan Records, Mikki Norris, Mike & Michelle Pankey & Family, Carol Jo "The Woodnymph" Papac, Tom 'Jah Son' Pearson, Dennis Peron, Papa Pilgrim, Jonathan Pollack, Reggae Ambassadors Worldwide, Ira Selsky, Sky, Matt Smith, Roger Steffens, Sunshine, Dr. Pete 'The Kind' Sutton, Mikee Warner, Bob Wilson, Jeff 'Bigga' Woodsworth, Walter Zelnick, all the stations & DJs that play us, everyone who comes to our shows, everyone who played and worked on this project, everyone we spaced.
All our love & gratitude to Zachary Magic Kay, Paule Kay, Michael Sidon. And to Carol, whose unfaltering love and belief continue to give us strength and comfort each and every day.
Peace & Love