The four R's of Toys That Kill's newest album
This album has some rhythm going on! From the opening of "Bomb-sniffin' Dogs" to the close of of "31-Year-Old Daydream," this album makes me want to dance. The only problem is that I'm not really sure how to do it. It's definitely not spin-kicks or karate moves, but it's not really a circle pit either. It just kind of makes me want to wag my finger in the air. Maybe gyrate my hips a bit and my right leg as well. All I know is that I have stop shaking my butt on the bus or I'm going to get arrested.
There's a definite feeling of having been here before. It's like slipping into a new pair of shoes, having owned the same make before. It fits nearly as well your old pair did, but they're crisper, feel springier and more supportive. Not to say that TTK don't have a sound all their own, but it's familiar. It draws on the Ramones in the simplicity of the songs and lyrics, the Buzzcocks in the energy and the Clash in the relevance.
It doesn't sound old though! This is an album with fantastic modern "DIY" production and aesthetics. From the peculiar album art to the crisp sounds on the record, it's a breath of fresh air. Most importantly, it doesn't sound like it was recorded in the ass-end of some kid's basement, even though the aesthetic, the feel, and the grit to it makes you realize it could have been.
You can tell, no matter how serious some songs may be underneath the surface, the folks in this band are just having fun. Maybe it's sad that it's such a foreign concept to be in a punk band, have political lyrics and yet still have fun and not take yourselves so damned seriously, but at least someone's doing it. The "Katzensheisse Ãber Alles" intro and interlude comes out of nowhere and I've been told the sound of mewing cats bursting forth from your speakers can wreak havoc with those felines living with you.
Toys That Kill have crafted an incredibly enjoyable, incredibly simple, incredibly incredible punk album with Shanked!
. It's punk rock, there's no doubt about it, that brings back two sorely lacking aspects lately: fun and relevancy.