Thursday, June 22, 2006

Record Review: Toys That Kill: Shanked!

Toys That Kill are the reason I want to write about music. Where the punk rock landscape is littered with generic, fashion-conscious pap, Toys That Kill are everything that’s good about punk rock: distinctive, aggressive, energetic, melodic, fun and smart. While ‘Shanked!’ isn’t decidedly different from their past efforts, it’s ripe enough with hooks and novel song writing to render it interesting.

Formed in the wake of the demise and comprising several members of F.Y.P., Toys That Kill picked up where F.Y.P. left off. While Toys The Kill don’t exhibit the snotty hardcore flair F.Y.P. did in their early days. Instead they’re more similar to the noisy-pop punk on their latter records, specifically and appropriately, F.Y.P.’s swan song ‘Toys That Kill’. Comparisons to the Replacements and Dillinger Four are just.

Considering the breadth of F.Y.P. and Toy’s That Kill’s sizeable body of timeless works, it’s difficult to make statements about the relative value of ‘Shanked!’. It’d be naïve to call it their best work to date, but there is some value to this claim. ‘Bomb Sniffing Dogs’, ‘They Tied Up All Our Lace’ and ‘Katzenscheibe Uber Alles’ are some of their most accessible and memorable songs.

This emphasis on melody is not at the expense energy, which F.Y.P. possessed in abundance. There is a jangly, staccato element to Toys That Kill, maybe similar to Midwestern punk bands like the Modern Machines and Grabass Charlestons.

Four Thumbs Up


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