TOYS THAT KILL - Sentimental Ward (LP)
Todd Congelliere gave birth to F.Y.P (Five Year Plan) in 1989, out of Torrance, California. After slangin' 4-track demo cassettes of himself playing a shitty guitar and a Toys "R" Us drum machine, he then wanted to put out a vinyl record, and that's what he did — releasing the Extra Credit 7-Inch EP (Recess #1) in 1990, on his on the fly, make-believe (at first) label, Recess Records.
Since F.Y.P's inception, Todd has led the way with his own, snotty, sophomoric brand of sloppy spazz-punk. He wasn't shy about unleashing it on the masses, neither — especially his skateboarding peers (he was a professional vert-skater at the time).
Todd started out just singing in the band, and eventually learned how to wing it on guitar and do both. After various lineup changes throughout F.Y.P's 10-year existence, ever-changing musical styles and directions, and relocating to the neighboring South Bay town of San Pedro (towards the end) — quite possibly, Todd's five year plan went a little longer than anticipated.
I guess Todd succeeded in getting all his adolescent anguish off his chest, shortly before pulling the plug on F.Y.P, while at the same time, transitioning his new band conception: TOYS THAT KILL — also the title of the final F.Y.P (Toys That Kill) record (Recess #67), released in 2000, on Todd's now "established," Recess Records label.
Todd decided to up the ante with a clean slate and a zealous new lineup. Along for the ride, was longtime F.Y.P bandmate, Sean Cole — switching to guitar (plus helping with the singing) for this new endeavor, along with additional key members coming aboard, like: Chachi Ferrara (on bass) and Denis Fleps (on drums). Denis played on the first Toys That Kill record, The Citizen Abortion, released in 2001, and left the band shortly after their first couple of tours. Their sophomore record, Control the Sun, brought forth powerhouse drummer, Jimmy Felix, which solidified the current lineup from here on out. Toys That Kill have five LPs (The Citizen Abortion - 2001, Control the Sun - 2003, Shanked - 2006, Fambly 42 - 2012, Sentimental Ward - 2016) under their belt, a handful of 7-inches and numerous compilation appearances, etc., etc.
Since the beginning, Toys That Kill have pushed the envelope at their own pace and on their own terms. Almost all of Toys That Kill's records have been released on Recess Records and they fairly recently started doing their own recordings (last two records) at Todd's homemade studio, Clown Sound. They have toured Europe a few times, Japan twice and continue to take their party to the rest of the country on a regular basis.
After 15 active years, Toys That Kill continue to do their thing, while inspiring others in their town and abroad, making them without a doubt, the "anchor" of the San Pedro punk community (like the Minutemen were before them).
SIDE NOTE: Todd, Jimmy, Chachi and Sean (along with Jack Doyle, Trevor Roundsville and John Predny) also play in the band, the Underground Railroad to Candyland.
With each new Toys That Kill release, their output keeps getting better and stronger, giving their fans something to look forward to with each release, which is rare in this day and age.
Well guess what, folks? The new Toys That Kill record, Sentimental Ward is finally here! With much anticipation and mucho touring to follow. Sentimental Ward is also Recess Records' 200th release, to boot! A fitting release for this rare milestone, for any label in existence, I have to say. Not too shabby for this humble veteran Pedro outfit. Get all Sentimental why don't you.
— Craig Ibarra, 2016