Performing songs written and originally performed by The Tiger Lillies, Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys truly made each song their own, blending in their mixture of punk, folk, cabaret, metal, etc., or "steam crunk," as they call it. Since each song appears to be about the horrific fate of a character of the play, mostly children, it fits right into The Army of Toys' catalog, coming across like a darker, more musical version of Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory or Ghastlycrumb Tinies come to musical life. The band attacks each song with a disturbing glee. "The Dreadful Story About Harriet and the Matches" is a jaunty ditty complete with creepy sounding kids' instrumentation. "Bully Boys" has a frenetic energy and is pure evil fun. The band really kicks in with the folk-metal "Augustus and the Soup," which might be the song that most sounds like it comes from a theatre production, somehow.
Overall, it makes me truly regret missing out on the theatre production of Shockheaded Peter. As a consolation, Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys is opening for The Dead Milkmen at the Sinclair in Cambridge, MA on October 17. If you've been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know that might be my ultimate dream pairing. You can listen to and order Walter Sickert & The Army of Broken Toys' version of Shockheaded Peter on their Bandcamp.