The Toms


The Toms The Toms 2xLP reissue

A relic from ‘79 gets the reissue treatment from Feel It. Who the hell are the TOMS? From what I have gathered, this project is from an older Jersey guy, Tom Marolda—songwriter, composer, performer, movie soundtrack writer, etc. Not finding much on any other musicians involved in the project. This is really sweet music, cloying in fact. Like consuming a box of glazed donuts, I can feel my teeth hurting after the long march of heavy-duty power popness that makes up the 24 tracks on this LP. There are moments to be had for sure, but in the end, the production is squeaky clean and the songs way too repetitive. This might be for some, but I need more sharp edges.

The Toms The 1979 Sessions LP

This album apparently collects the “chaff” from Tommy Marolda’s three-day solo recording session that led to the TOMS’ self-titled album. I must admit I was not familiar with that LP, but it seems to be considered a power pop classic among aficionados. After listening to The 1979 Sessions, I had to immediately go and listen to it, because if these are the rejects, the songs that made the album had to be something else. The fourteen tracks here are a masterclass in jangling ’60s British Invasion guitar pop with an unmistakable BEATLES influence, with forays into spacier PROCOL HARUM or CREAM territory—it’s almost impossible to believe that one person played and recorded a couple of albums’ worth of this stuff in his home studio over a weekend (to make use of studio time vacated by a SMITHEREENS cancellation), but that’s how the legend has it, and if rock’n’roll isn’t about legends, what is it for? It doesn’t even sound home-recorded—it could have been tracked at Abbey Road. Essential stuff for the power pop fan.