The Heights Toys & Kings

Frenetic, woozy and not a little boozy, the Heights’ Toys & Kings is not, thankfully, a comeback album from the unlamented Jamie Walters-led made-for-TV "band” of the early ’90s but rather the debut album from a spirited Anglo-Welsh quartet currently turning taste-making heads in their native UK. It’s little wonder, given the more than passing resemblance, at times, to popular compatriots the Fratellis, particularly on the melodic stop-start dynamics of "Low Drama” and the head-bobbing "Help Is On Its Way.” The Heights are led by singer Owain Ginsberg’s whiskey’n’smokes voice and Pearse MacIntyre’s urgent, intricate guitar work, both of which fuel album highlights "Jamaica Beer Eyes” and "Blackberry Nights.” "Bad News,” meanwhile, comes closest to the band’s self-described sound of "the Strokes with Lemmy singing.” Things may fizzle a little towards the end but overall, this is a fine debut, and you have to tip your cap to a band that can write a poignant ode to a kettle (on the appropriately named "Kettle Song”). Well done, chaps. (Indica)