Toy Bombs is a Los Angeles based indie rock band originally from Salt Lake City, Utah that crafts a warm but biting sound molded from the melodies of 50's rock with the jangling guitar, groove laden keyboards, and thumping beats of garage pop.
Independent of a record label, Toy Bombs has managed to play major festivals and concerts including SXSW, Sundance Film Festival, NYC's CMJ Festival, The Joint (Hard Rock Cafe, Las Vegas), X96’s Big Ass show. Toy Bombs have appeared in SPIN magazine and have had many news and radio appearances including KEXP Seattle. Toy Bombs was chosen by Billboard and TAXI as the number one independent band in the western US. Toy Bombs has also been able to share the stage with great artists like Snow Patrol, Ben Kweller, Voxtrot, Why?, Sea Wolf, St. Vincent, Dan Deacon, Ladybug Transistor, Ghostland Observatory, Zoe, Babasonicos and many other artists.
All of these accomplishments have been achieved through old-fashioned DIY passion and hard work.
Cole Barnson - Vocals, Guitar, Percussion
Brandon McBride - Vocals, Guitar, Piano, Percussion
"Feed the Wolves" EP. November 15, 2010
"Will Work For Free" EP. February 25, 2011
Forth coming "Apocalypse"
LA Club Breathes Life into Music
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[Toy Bombs], which has appeared at SXSW and was chosen by Billboard in 2008 as the No. 1 indie band ...[Toy Bombs], which has appeared at SXSW and was chosen by Billboard in 2008 as the No. 1 indie band in the western U.S., has been compared to the Cold War Kids. The band's infectious, hook-laden licks had the people at Life bouncing in front of the stage.
Best of SXSW Music
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?The Toy Bombs - The Thirsty Nickel You know those hungover early SX afternoons, when you'd rather ...?The Toy Bombs - The Thirsty Nickel
You know those hungover early SX afternoons, when you'd rather kill yourself than go into some loud, cornball 6th Street bar? This time I ignored that impulse, a rockabilly-mod looking foursome having sucked me off the street into a place called The Thirsty Nickel. Their trick? Sheer playing-their-asses-off-for-a-record-deal energy. Turns out they were Los Angeles garage rock outfit Toy Bombs, in the midst of 15 minutes of pure bouncing off the walls inspiration, before a crowd smaller than the Rolling Stones' craft service squad. It was incredibly melodic in an acoustically-challenged room, and the players emerged fully soaked in sweat, imploring the small crowd to come see their next show, though they had no idea where it was. It was the performance of their lives. Or, even more likely, they play like that every time. -- Ben Westhoff
Utah ex-pats on a solo mission to dance
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Living in Athens, we’re used to bands coming to us — moving here to hone their craft or touring ince...Living in Athens, we’re used to bands coming to us — moving here to hone their craft or touring incessantly to our storied clubs.
So it’s easy to forget that for many bands, even in cities larger than Athens, a hometown scene can feel stifling.
That’s why Toy Bombs, originally from Salt Lake City chose to hightail it to Los Angeles.
“It was like a big fish type thing,” said Brandon McBride, one-half of the band’s core membership. For three years in a row, the Toy Bombs, in their older incarnation, Kid Theodore, consistently ranked first, second or third best band in the state, according to Salt Lake City’s alt weekly. The Mormon state loved their mix of indie pop and danceable punk, a sound that’s been steadily growing artier (think TV on the Radio) and garagier (think TV on the Radio).
But the move to California brought caused shifts in the band’s lineup, which ended up benefiting McBride and Toy Bombs’ main songwriter, Cole Barnson.
“When our last band broke up, two of the guys quit the band two weeks before a national tour,” he said. They hobbled through the tour with the soon-to-depart rhythm section, and when they returned home to Los Angeles and started writing new material, figuring they needed to find a new bass player and drummer. But they realized with all the talented musicians in Los Angeles, they might not need permanent backing.
At this point, they’ve settled, basically, on a fixed drummer and bassist. But it’s hard to tell who is propelling the song beat-wise, as the Toy Bombs rhythm section still wears animal masks and goes by the names Sasha the Cat and Rocko the Bear.
Toy Bombs also eschews the typical music business format, opting instead to release its music themselves, produce itself and manage itself. And despite the workload of both art and business, McBride and Barnson manage to stay sane.
“We have a good balance,” McBride said. If he or Barnson gets fatigued keeping both sides of the business afloat, the other picks up the slack. It’s not impossible, he said, to be both creative and enterprising. “If you want to be successful, you have to work hard.”
And the members of Toy Bombs don’t think that success and independence are mutually exclusive.
“We don’t want to do the label thing unless they can put us a full step ahead of where we are now,” McBride said. “When we are on the road, we are playing with Sub Pop bands who are booked by the biggest agencies in the country. We are playing the same show, but they are in debt to their record label. For us, we’re doing all right on our own.”
— André Gallant, Staff
Toy Bombs Play Lose Myself
video of performance
Toy Bombs, Westin Downtown Phoenix and Estee Goodies
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I had the pleasure last night of attending an art show at the office of our friends at E.B. Lane (ch...I had the pleasure last night of attending an art show at the office of our friends at E.B. Lane (check out their art show details here on the E.B. Lane blog). The food from Jennifer’s Catering that was delectable and a super sweet waitress even brought our videographer and me a little vegetarian tray because we’re both veggies. Sidebar: shrimp and grits minus shrimp is still delicious! There was a dessert room full of chocolate and teeny whoopie pies and lemon pies; mojito, wine and Four Peaks brewski bars and TONS of cool art on all the walls. Awesome office full of interesting people. Great turnout! Still jealous of the lucky guests who walked away with the grand prize Vegas Vacay at the Tropicana.
But I’ve left out my favorite part…
Melanie McBride (E.B. Lane’s VP and Director of PR) happens to have a hot little son in an LA-based indie rock band called Toy Bombs, who performed. We loved them! Picture hipsters in black suits with pink shirts and white shoes, smacking themselves around with maracas. In a good way. Check them out here. We bought their E.P. and have been listening to it all day.
Toy Bombs' set usually runs for 30 - 45 minutes, but can go longer or shorter based on the show. They focus on seamless song transitions and keep talk to a minimum - "less talk, more rock".
There are no upcoming dates at this time.