Toadies latest album highly reminiscent of ’90s grunge

Are you bored of the same old rap and indie songs? Give Toadies a try. A grunge band that’s not as over reliant on sheer aggression as say Nirvana, this group provides a unique sound that hasn’t been heard in the last decade.

This particular album, Feeler, was originally supposed to be released in the late 90’s. However, a rejection combined with a temporary break-up has resulted in the album being shelved until Aug 10, 2010. In a way, it’s a time capsule, presenting music of a decade that is long past.

The album itself is relatively light, featuring a mix of short songs. Each of these has its own unique feel, ranging from screaming punk to somber ballads and sarcastic ditties.

Given the differences between the songs, it may be more suitable to purchase your favorites as opposed to the entire album.

“Trust Game” is the first on the list. It starts off with the impression of being an optimistic, motivational song. However, the immediate dissonant chords and harsh vocals change the atmosphere of the song considerably. It sets up a dark motif that the other songs will follow.

“Waterfall” features a great bass ostenato (repeating rhythm). The entire song is a mixture of rhythms and melodies that seamlessly shift into one another. No rhythmic passage lasts too long, gradually shifting into another passage right before the boredom starts to kick in.

The vocals are considerably stronger and more strained in this song, making it a better example of the band’s grunge roots.

“Dead Boy” is the most commercial song of the album. With an angry, driven sound and singing that is more about sound than lyrics, this is a great, energetic song.

The song culminates in a macabre chanting of the word, “dead boy,” followed with a large scream. This is grunge and punk in its purest form and will not disappoint.

One noteworthy song on the list is “City of Hate,” a down-tempo tune that’s almost bluesy. It’s a combination of blues guitars and slow beats combined with laughter.

The laughter really gives the whole song a different edge, one that’s eerie, yet still maintains a hard, bluesy tone. That laughter adds an almost ethereal element to the song, whose tone ranges from melodic to almost sinister.

The song that follows, “Mine,” continues that soft, down-tempo feel. A bit more sentimental than the earlier songs, “Mine” never quite raises to a yell the way the others do. With a light, repeating beat to color the music and lyrics, this song makes for much easier listening.

The ending almost subverts the song though, giving a much grimmer feel that the first few minutes gave. The slightly sinister lyrics and dissonant ending makes for an interesting analysis for anyone who wants to put in the effort.

“Suck Magic” is classic punk right down to its title. Louder, angrier and more profane than anything else on the album, this song delivers to anyone craving angry music.

It starts off innocuously and gradually builds to a raging scream and climactic finish. It is definitely worth buying by itself if you want good punk music and are in need of some angst.

“ATF” is entertaining but relatively standard fare in this album. The guitar riff is enjoyable on its own for the driven sound it provides. There are no real lyrics here, making this good background music for anyone who just wants energetic and focused music.

“Joey, Let’s Go” is reminiscent of the band Cake with its spoken word lyrics and mixture of euphonic guitar riffs. To add to that, the lyrics also have a cynical, sarcastic bent sprinkled with a deadpan delivery giving the song a bitter edge.

The bass guitar really brings out the best in this song, especially in the more lyrical passages. If you’re looking for a fun, entertaining song that doesn’t sound too much like what’s on the radio, then this is it.

“Pink” follows “Joey” with a much more light-hearted fare. The heavy drumbeat brings the song along well and closes off the album with a nice, pleasant feel. It’s not a particularly outstanding song, but it is a nice finish to the album.

Those who buy the entire album on iTunes will also receive an extra song: a cover of the Beatles song “Don’t Let Me Down.” It’s actually quite a highlight. The strong, rougher vocals and more bombastic instrumentals are an interesting take on the song, which has a more aggressive posture than any Beatles song I’ve heard. It manages to blend the elements of grunge with the Beatles but still maintains the euphony.

Anyone expecting a blast from the 90’s is in for a treat with this album. It brings back all the highlights, or should I say lowlights ,of that decade: grunge, anger, the post-punk feel and a bit of cynicism. If you are missing some teenage angst, be sure to buy this album.

The album feels like relic made during the transition between grunge to modern indie. Because of this, it features a unique blend of both, something that few other bands have attempted. This album is anything but cheery, however.

Anyone who listens to this can expect Nirvana-like instrumentals with vocals reminiscent of Rage Against the Machine, an angry yet coherent sound.

However, there’s quite a bit of variation in this album, making it a good buy for any music lover. It’s good for working out to or relaxing to.

If you prefer to just buy a few songs off iTunes, I would definitely recommend “Joey Let’s Go,” “Waterfall,” “City of Hate” and “Mine.” Those particular songs are absolutely worth a listen.