Ranking Tool’s albums from not the best to the best.
I am not a Steely Dan fan at all. In fact to quote Seth Rogen in Knocked Up “Steely Dan gargles my balls.” Strangely though, their song “Dirty Work” seems to pop in my head from time to time. I remember an episode of The Sopranos when Tony Soprano (RIP James Gandolfini) was singing it while driving. Thankfully there is a version of this song that I can listen to and thoroughly enjoy. It’s by a super group of sorts. In 1995 Ken Andrews and Greg Edwards of Failure joined forces with Paul D’Amour (formerly of Tool) and Chris Pitman (now in the new Guns N Roses) and recorded and album of covers under the name Replicants. Enjoy the only way Steely Dan can truly be tolerated!
Tool is one of the most artistic, innovative and creative bands to come out in the past 25 years. Each of their albums have left a mark with rabid fans eating up everything that they do. Tool’s catalog though short is very deep. The subject matter of lyrics and the depths that the music creates is not for the weak. You can tell the amount of time they band spent working on the songs is worth every second. Maynard’s vocal approach is undeniable his own. Many have tried to copy him but don’t come close. Adam Jones has one of the more intriguing guitar tones and styles. Danny Carey’s drumming is said to be created by seances and summoning sprits, to which is very believable especially with the odd time signatures. Originally on bass Paul D’amour created a bass tone that ripped through the songs with such ferocity that it became the driving force of quite a few songs. Now Justin Chancellor has taken that sound and progressed it to an etherial place. A lot can be said for what their masterpiece is. Some will debate that it is Aenima or Lateralus, Undertow is an unsung Masterpiece. Songs like Intolerance, Crawl Away, Bottom, Flood, and of course Sober all have such a well of emotion and insight into the inner workings of Tool. A bit of history about the album, Undertow was recorded between October and December 1992 at Sound City Studios, and at Grandmaster Recorders, Hollywood, California, by Sylvia Massy. Some of the songs featured on the album are songs that the band decided to not release on Opiate. Henry Rollins makes a guest vocal appearance on the song “Bottom.”
Take a listen again and see what you’ve missed out the first few times you listened to Undertow.
By: Brian Lacy