TOYS THAT KILL / THE RAGIN’ HORMONES: split: 7”

Toys That Kill have yet to disappoint. They’re stealthy. If you listen with a lazy ear, they may sound merely spastic, but with repeated listens – as opposed to bands like The Vandals and Guttermouth who revel in being booger-eatin’ morons with cryogenically frozen minds of twelve-year-olds – their smartypants quotient becomes apparent. Their songs never lull, stutter step, or miscalculate. I can hear flashes and snaps of Cheap Trick, Psychedelic Furs, and “I know that song”-ness amplified, messed with, and groomed in their own style. I’m not saying they’re geniuses, but the lyrics and music combined reinforce the idea that this is, indeed, a band that doesn’t have to be flashy and doesn’t have to use big words and confusing artshit to continue on a unique path, one that I’m happy to listen to over and over again. Included are two songs that aren’t on their highly recommended CD, The Citizen Abortion: “Run From Love” and “Birds in Catsuits.” The Ragin’ Hormones – if Chuck Berry was dead, this would be like watching a band piss in his mouth at the funeral. So awful I don’t even want to comment on it.

–todd (Stardumb)