"El Toro have shared the stage with Head Automatica, The Faint and Planes Mistaken For Stars." Suffice to say that the would-be critic is left utterly under-informed as to what this Pennsylvania quartet sound like based upon their tour buddies. A few minutes into May And Marielle and all becomes clear: this is emo, and it's deep, man.
But wait! Run not to punk-ier climes without first sucking in some of these delightful summertime melodies. Though El Toro's collective muse is quite obviously one of the fairer sex, they offer shimmering indie-rock tunes shot through with fraught and frail emotions unheard in so many higher-profile acts. The sincerity in Matt Ludwikowski's confessional delivery is purely undiluted by big budgets and the pursuit of bright lights, and as his voice threatens to crack under the strain of 'Bouncing Ball' and 'Far Away' it's hard not to find a little sympathy for him in the depths of the most sceptical of guts.
No, there's nothing wholly original across these eleven tracks, but familiarity fails to breed contempt over the course of their near-perfect 45-minute duration. El Toro are worthy of investigation now, before your too-cool-for-school emo friends get in on their perfectly accomplished act.
6Mike Diver's Score