Thursday, August 28, 2008
Toadies - Hell In High Water
I love Toadies. Well, rather, I love Rubberneck (my favorite album from 1994). I never really could get into Hell Below/Stars Above, it was just missing something. And I was hoping that after the 7 years since that came out, they might have something good to say on their newest, No Deliverance. Sadly, that's not the case.
It starts out kind of right. At least, the riff does anyways. But it's just not...weird enough? I don't know. Look, it really pains me to talk about Toadies this way, but I'm not gonna lie. No Deliverance sucks.
One of the problems with No Deliverance is that it's just too clean. Rubberneck was raw and filthy, with production values just shitty enough so you could still understand what was going on. Their new album is crystal clear and it doesn't suit them. Too much is forced on this album, including Todd Lewis' voice. He sounds less like himself and more like him trying to sound like he did 12 years ago. Or maybe somewhere along the line he just became a little too interested in Chris Cornell. Things would be much better if there was just a bit more passion. In the vocals, in the music, in the lyrics, in everything. I mean, "Song I Hate" sounds exactly like a lame Everclear song from 10 years ago. And I'm pretty sure I remember Everclear lacking passion (among other things).
See, I'm proud to listen to Rubberneck, but unfortunately No Deliverance is just kind of embarrassing. There is only one song on here, "Hell In High Water," that I can say that I really enjoy. It's super upbeat, starting out almost like a weird swing song. The guitars are pretty reminiscent of old Toadies, and that's a good thing in this case. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not just looking for Toadies to rehash their old sound. I would love for them to mature and make some new kick ass music. But that's not the case here. They just lost it, at least in the song writing department. I don't know how their live shows hold up (although I will be finding out November 8th at The Paradise).
Here's the thing. If No Deliverance came out in 1994, it would have been buried amongst the rest of the post-grunge refuse. There's nothing remarkable or cool about this album, except that it's made by the same guys who did Rubberneck.