Toil Like Devils, the Tarmints' fourth effort, is the musical equivalent of a James Ellroy novel: brutal, uncompromising in its artistic vision, and an unflinchingly honest exploration of the shadowy places of the human psyche. Music seething with such a palpable, exhilarating anger could easily come from dwelling on self-destructive emotions, but the Tarmints transmute negative expressions of passion into inspiration. "Bob Dylan Klebold" is a song for every misfit who ever wanted to deal a death blow to bullying idiots delusional enough to think that abuse and dehumanization have no consequences. When the eerie calm of "Scan and Move" is punctured by the cascading hysteria of shrieking guitars, it is the sound of terror at suddenly encountering the incarnation of ultimate evil in the dark. "I Do," a harrowing song about a failed marriage, closes the album with some of the most crashing, devastating song dynamics of the band's career. If Laughing Hyenas and Gun Club melded together, the results might resemble the vitality and sense of danger in the music of the Tarmints.


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