Toys That Kill


Toys That Kill The Citizen Abortion cassette

The debut from one of San Pedro’s best, given a cassette reissue for its twentieth anniversary. This album is still as great as it was when it originally came out. Rising from the ashes of the juggernaut that was F.Y.P., TOYS THAT KILL continued down the path of their predecessor by churning out snotty, fun pop punk that could have fit right in with the body of work of the previous band, and while Todd Congelliere’s vocals are unmistakable, it’s the addition of Sean Cole splitting up the vocal duties that really adds that extra element needed to not just write off this record as a new F.Y.P. album. Though twenty years have passed since this originally was released, it still sounds fresh, which is a feat especially when you consider the musical landscape twenty years ago—the mark of not only a great album, but a great band. If this album is not already in your collection and you’re down with cassettes, go get a copy now and hurry, because it’s limited to only 100 copies!

Iron Chic / Toys That Kill Split LP

I’d be lying if I said that TOYS THAT KILL didn’t have, and rely on, a dependable, bafflingly sturdy, formulaic style. Todd’s trademarked caterwaul, on top of his manic, monkey-mantra music, all with the same tempo and perfectly planned breaks, sandwiched between Sean’s more adult and smart songwriter-ish punk, gets a slight little twist with every release, and their shit somehow seems to never get stale. I don’t get it. It defies physics, and this little five-banger has left me wanting more, just like everything else they’ve done for the last dozen or so years. It’s still absolutely fucking killer. IRON CHIC, on the other hand, got lost on me. It’s pretty melodic, bearded and tight black t-shirt-clad (I assume), delicately growled type stuff. My appreciation for dude rock is light handed at best, and while you do get a few good whiffs of the ARRIVALS and that GRABASS CHARLESTONS/DALE AND THE CAREENERS LP—which are absolutely stellar examples of the genre, mostly—it just sounded like the rest of the stuff that makes up the majority of this sweet-yet-gruff bro’s handle on the style.