Reviews Toys That Kill Fambly 42

Toys That Kill

Fambly 42

It may have been six years since Toys That Kill put out a full-length, but Fambly 42 sounds like it could have been released immediately after Shanked. The melodies are seamless and the precision between band members sounds like they haven’t missed a beat—maybe that’s because the band plays sporadic shows and the pieces of their line-up comprise a number of other San Pedro, CA bands that have released items on Recess Records in the meantime. Anyway, Fambly 42 is a rocker, and it totally lives up to the wait.

“Mobbed by the 3’s” is a quick reminder of what sets Toys That Kill apart from their related projects: the upbeat energy and singalong nature of the songs and the subtle changes therein that alter the progression without hindering the flow. Halfway through most the songs, the listener can already sing along to the refrain, but the songs still avoid feeling repetitive or samey, as singer Todd Congelliere mixes up his versus just enough to throw a wrench into the predictable cycles while the guitars typically throw a changeup as well. Sean Cole steps to the mic periodically, as in “Waltz in a Million.” The new voice doesn’t alter the tone of the record, but gives a little shake-up when things become familiar.

Favorites include “Who Scored?,” “Nervous Rocks,” and “Clap for Alaska.” “Abort Me Mother Earth” feels like it would fit in on 2001’s The Citizen Abortion, with a bit of a deconstructive edge that is immediately countered by its sunny follow-up “Stye,” in which Congelliere shows a bit of vocal range (well, for a punk band anyway). The tempos, while fitting broadly under the pop-punk umbrella, are varied and the rhythms go from the staccato “Ape Me” to forward-pushing poppy melodies as in “Who Scored?” and the anthemic touch of “Mobbed by the 3’s.”

In short, this record may have been years in the making, but it feels immediate and relevant—something that usually isn’t said about similarly delayed projects. The chemistry of the band and the distinct songwriting combines to make an early favorite for record of the year as well as prompts me to dig through the CD pile for the rest of their catalog.

8.9 / 10Loren
KFAI - Roar of the Underground
Leave a comment



8.9 / 10

8.9 / 10

Share this content
Related features

Interviews Clown Sounds

Posted Jan. 27, 2019, 4:10 p.m.

Last year Clown Sounds released its debut LP, Preacher Maker on Recess Records. While the band name may be unfamiliar to some, frontman Todd Congelliere ...

One Question Interviews Todd Congelliere

Posted Nov. 10, 2013, 10:47 a.m.

Todd Congelliere (Toys That Kill/Underground Railroad to Candyland/Recess Records)SPB: How many vans have you had? Congelliere: I've had 8 vans. Two ...

KFAI - Root Of All Evil
More by Toys That Kill

Toys That Kill

Sentimental Ward

8.4 / 10 Toys That Kill - Sentimental Ward album cover

It’s nice when your favorite bands surprise you. It took six years for Fambly 42), so I wasn’t ready for Sentimental Ward yet (though apparently it’s already been another four ...

Related news

Shows Growing Up Is Dumb 2015 scheduled

Posted Oct. 18, 2015, 9:42 p.m.

The third Growing Up Is Dumb festival is scheduled for 2015 over Dec. 11-13 in Pomona, CA. Organized by Lauren Records, the festival covers three days with the likes of ...

Tours URTC is going on tour

Posted May 6, 2015, 2:31 p.m.

Set to release their third full-length, The People Are Home, The Underground Railroad to Candyland has scheduled a US tour that starts in Austin, TX and finishes in Denver, CO ...

Shows Growing Up Is Dumb: August 2-3

Posted June 20, 2014, 3:57 p.m.

Lauren Records will sponsor a two day event, Growing Up Is Dumb, on Aug. 2-3 at the American Legion Hall in Pomona, CA. The line-up includes Toys That Kill, Spraynard ...



Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:

Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.