Written by GE 138.
San Pedro's very own Toys That Kill have carved themselves out a very quirky niche in the non-musical world of Punk Rock. They're too inventive and talented to be Punk Rock, and too raw and blistering to be Alternative, so they just sort of hover along, putting out some of the most catchy, memorable music ever put to wax, and their new album called Sentimental Ward is probably the best thing you're gonna listen to this year.
While not reinventing the wheel in any sense of the word, the guys in Toys That Kill have a way of enthusiastic playing that makes even the most familiar riffs and melodies their own, infusing them with an urgency and passion that makes them instantly recognizable and yet fresh and new at the same time, sort of how the Ramones and others after them did. "Pop sensibilities". The music Toys That Kill come up with is catchy as fuck, with a rhythm section that's just as tight as anything that Gang Of Four or the Minutemen ever were, punctuated by singer/guitarist Ryan's snotty, attitude infused vocals that can go from a plea to a scream at the drop of a dime. The drummer is a beast. The danceabilty of every song on here is scary. Whether it's the hypnotic swirly machinery sound of Ready To Fall, the circle pit inducing hammering of The Safe Song, or the pogo scream along of The Constant Belly Up, some, if not all, of these songs are gonna get your toes tapping and your head bobbing along to the beat. This album is really that good. It's been on constant rotation ever since I got my grubby hands on it, and it's beauty lies in it's simplicity. When you get right down to it, Toys That Kill are just another Rock 'N' Roll band, albeit one of the better ones, but still, at their essence, just a Rock 'N' Roll band, and that's not necessarily a bad thing to be. Cheap Trick is a Rock 'N' Roll band. So are the Ramones. Same with Teenage Bottlerocket. Same with Toys That Kill. These guys are heartfelt. They're honest. Their catchy as fuck, and their easily one of the best bands gigging around and putting music out right now. A refreshing breath of air in a old and stagnant music scene. Toys That Kill are the shit. Grab this release immediately. You won't regret it. Promise.
Available from Recess Records, of course. Available on beautiful blue vinyl by clicking here. I'm not sure, but I think I saw that it was also available on cassette, if you can believe that. I'm sure this release is also available from the band at every Toys That Kill gig that goes down. "Like" the band on Facebook by clicking here.