...These are my words on the band: These days, rock comes with a bit of a stigma. It's a stigma that's not particularly deserving. Bands like Limp Bizkit, Korn, Slipknot and Linkin Park have paved the way for countless imitators trying to fit rock music into a different groove. Some bands add hip hop grooves, turntables, rapping... others tune their guitars way down and turn way up. There's nothing inherantly wrong with that... but it seems ever since the grunge scene left, nobody on the radio has been playing good old fashioned straight ahead rock, aside from a couple standouts here and there. Where has the passion gone? Must rock be lost on pop culture? NO!
This is where the Toadies came in. Their sound was modern yet vintage... aggressive yet passionate. Nobody can scream-sing like Todd Lewis. The tonality of his voice fit right into the groove his guitar paved in the musical landscape... it was rough and ready to rumble but he NEVER turned hardcore on us. Clark, the other guitarist, had a gift of making bizarre lead harmonizations that weren't what you'd expect, but work none the less (in an odd almost Primus sort of way). They both were talented in their roles. Lisa, the bassist, was a ball of fire. She rocked up on stage, wagging back and forth, and never let the beat drop for a second. She wasn't out in front, spitting on the audience, but she definately was the centerpiece of the band. Mark's drumming was incredible. His beats exuded the punk energy we've come to enjoy from modern music, but he's got a style of his own. They were rock... pure, unadulterated rock. Amen.
From the first slam of Plane Crash, you know this album is ready to tear you to shreds. The groove of The Toadies is undeniable. Each song on HB/SA moves forward with intensity and overflows with energy. The guitar sounds from Todd and Clark's setups are thick and juicy. It's everything a rock guitar could be... and the whole album is wonderfully mixed and mastered. Every instrument is clear and distinct. I love it. Push the Hand, their single from the album, is truly a good tune. But, I don't think it's the best one of the bunch... it bounces very nicely on the offbeats. Little Sin grooves in a steady 5/4... an odd time, for sure... but they pull it off very, very well. Motivational is a perfect example of the "off" harmonization that the band throws into the mix. The chord progression just keeps moving and doesn't stop... it's hard to tell where a musical phrase stops or starts. It's genius. Heel is just a whirling vortex of flame. It's all about intensity. It's probably the hardest song on the album... Todd's screaming is delicious. You'll Come Down is a solid rock tune... not filler, for sure. The slower tune, Pressed Against the Sky, builds in wonderful crecendo. What We Have We Steal just starts rockin' and won't stop. Jigsaw girl is the songwriting champ of the album, well versed and melodic, it evens the album out a bit. The riffs of Sweetness can't be ignored. They're infectious. The punky titular track is an odd one that breaks into a gospel jam. But, the most amazing track is definitely Dollskin. Like Tyler before it, the slow jam resonates in beautiful polish.
I loved this band... and this album will never die in my cd player and my heart. They inspired both me and my band (...) to no end and we will...with the tee shirts we bought and the cds we'll pump on our way to work in the morning. God bless the Toadies.