On August 25, Austin’s punk rock heroes A Giant Dog are back with ToyToy, the fourth LP from A Giant Dog and their second for Merge, captures 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, Graham Low on bass and Daniel Blanchard on drums, in the latter’s recorded debut. 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. “I feel I’ve revealed more in this album than ever before,” Sabrina confesses. Still, the band doesn’t sacrifice an ounce of catchiness or charm when tackling issues like aging, agency, and mortality, as embodied in opening single “Photograph.”
The band recorded Toy with Grammy-winning engineer Stuart Sikes (Loretta Lynn, Cat Power, The White Stripes, Reigning Sound), and singer/songwriter/guitarist/wildman Cashen produced it. “Andrew as producer makes a lot of sense,” Sabrina says. “He composes the songs and knows better than anyone what they should sound like in the end. With him at the helm, we’ve arrived at a raw, truthful, risky, and rangy album.”
Pre-order Toy in the Merge store on CD and limited-edition opaque lipstick-red vinyl, or digitally here. Lucky for us, A Giant Dog will be no strangers to the road in 2017, with plenty of dates already announced and more to come.
A Giant Dog on tour:
Jun 09 Fort Collins, CO – house show
Jun 10 Denver, CO – Hi-Dive
Jun 11 Colorado Springs, CO – The Black Sheep
Jun 12 Grand Junction, CO – Baron’s
Jun 14 Los Angeles, CA – The Bootleg Theater
Jun 15 San Diego, CA – Soda Bar
Jun 16 Tucson, AZ – The Flycatcher
Jun 17 Phoenix, AZ – Lunchbox
Jun 24 Austin, TX – The ABGB
Jun 29 Dallas, TX – Armoury D.E.
Jul 01 Omaha, NE – Boat Fest
Jul 02 Minneapolis, MN – Triple Rock
Jul 03 Davenport, IA – Daytrotter
Jul 04 Fort Wayne, IN – Brass Rail
Jul 06 Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle
Jul 07 Milwaukee, WI – Cactus Club
Jul 08 Des Moines, IA – 80/35 Festival
Jul 09 Kansas City, MO – Blind Tiger
Sep 28-Oct 01 Memphis, TN – Gonerfest