Pairing Toys That Kill and Future Virgins in a single record, this Drunker Sailor 7” teams up bands that have released some of my favorite records of 2011 (Western Problems) and 2012 (Fambly 42). That’s a lot of quality, an intriguing pair-up and, honestly, a lot to live up to.
Does the three song EP live up to expectations? More or less. It’s always disappointing to get only one new song from a band, so Toys That Kill’s “Maybe This Cult Is Way Off” has an uphill battle. It’s a solid contribution from the group and it fits well within their catalogue. Much as Fambly 42 felt like the band hadn’t missed a beat during their time off, this song sounds straight off of Shanked or Control the Sun. It’s catchy and written in that familiar key, and would fall in the middle of their releases. The progression at about the two-thirds mark is the high point. It’s quality and fun but not an amazing song.
Chattanooga, TN’s Future Virgins earn the distinction of best track on the split in B-side opener “Passing Curse,” one of their two contributions. It exhibits a punk sneer and amped up guitar briskly mixed along with melodious vocals and some coked-up cymbal crashes. Like TTK’s A-side, “Counting Sheep (Show Me)” is a solid, if unspectacular song. It sees the band exploring a more 1960’s tone, both thematically (love) and in terms of sound. The grainy hiss in the production intensifies this connection. All three songs on here are definite keepers.
So is the record worth it? Heck yeah, especially for fans. It sticks to what powers both bands, fitting in their catalog where it can double as a nice introduction to either group’s larger works. Plus, consider it a teaser for the upcoming Future Virgins full-length later this year.