Toys That Kill - Fambly 42 (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Toys That Kill

Fambly 42 (2012)

Recess Records

While they've been away for a while, Toys That Kill more than make up for six years of silence with the new Fambly 42. Combining indie/garage rock leanings with pop-punk hooks, the band comes off like a cross between Dillinger Four and Guided By Voices. Or maybe they just sound like the Heat Tape? Either way, Fambly 42 is a solid little record.

"Mobbed by the 3's" kicks off the record with a steady drum beat and jerky guitars before the vocals add some nice urgency [Editor's note: The record uses a lot of awkward capitalization. So while I'm going to acknowledge that this song is really written as "MoBbed bY thE 3's," I sure ain't gonna type that out every time. I got stuff to do]. The track also establishes Toys' M.O. The band writes fun, catchy numbers, and cut after cut hammers that home.

"Mobbed" is definitely a highlight of the album, but songs like "Abort Me, Mother Earth," "I've Been Stabbed" and "Freddy & His Mother" certainly stand out as well. Fambly 42's production is stellar. It's neither too clean nor too lo-fi, and it packs grit and punch when needed. This is exactly how songs of this caliber need to sound.

That said, Fambly's 15 songs all kind of sound the same. The band has a dependable formula going, but those looking for diversity (and who wants that from a punk band that isn't called the Clash anyway?) are going to check out eventually. Granted, Toys occasionally switch up that formula, whether it be with different kinds of intros or slightly mellower fare like "Clap for Alaska," but overall Fambly essentially consists of one good song rewritten many times over. But, ya know, it's still a pretty good song. Given how long the band has been away, that's got to count for something.