July 13, 2006

Why you should listen to… Tool

Tool Discography

Tool - Opiate

Opiate

Tool - Undertow

Undertow

Tool - AEnima

AEnima

Tool - Lateralus

Lateralus

Tool - 10,000 Days

10,000 Days

Click on album art to buy from play.com

When I was first asked to contribute to this blog I initially was flummoxed as to what to write about. I've never been one that was up on 'new' music so I will have to take a different tact. I thought instead I would write about bands that, although may have been around for ages, seem under-appreciated to me. So lets begin with the first...

Tool

Tool are one of those bands that have 3 distinct groups of people associated with them. Obsessive fan-boys, haters, and the "Tool?" group. While I obviously don't fall into the latter two groups, neither am I an obsessive. Tool are, however, one of my favourite bands.

So why should you listen to Tool? They're not to everyone's taste, and some are full of vitriol towards them. To some they're too heavy; to others not heavy enough. Their sound would be described by some as 'progressive metal', but that tends to turn most people off.

What you do get is a deep, complex sound that is missing from most standard metal bands, along with an aggressive heavy edge. The lyrical content is always involving and can range from the obviously–themed, to the "what is he on about!", without ever being clichéd. Maynard James Keenan's voice has an ability to perfectly adapt to a song, be it an aggressive vocal, or more poetic.

And then we come to the musicianship. Most tracks have at least a semblance of a verse–chorus structure, but often diving off in tangents, with no riffs recycled. Adam Jones has the ability to use complex time signatures and unusual riff patterns, without making the listener feel confused or alienated. And frankly Danny Carey is one of the best drummers of the last ten years. Anyone who wants a master class in complex timing and innovation should look no further.

A particular bonus that you get with Tool is that they are a visual as well as an audio experience. Guitarist Adam Jones originally moved to LA in the hope of entering the film industry, and he has applied his talents to the vast majority of Tool promo videos. Disturbing, engaging, and sometimes controversial, they accompany their respective tracks beautifully and are a lesson to many bands in how it could and should be done. Many of the videos are available on sites such as YouTube and bundled with promo singles, and are definitely worth experiencing.

Mostly a Tool album is not one that will get you bouncing around your room, but should make something stir inside you. I would highly recommend anyone to check out this band if you enjoy a 'weirder' but less heavy edge (a la the new Muse album), and also if you are feeling disillusioned with the formulaic nature of modern metal.

Samples

Schism MP3 Expired [buy 'Lateralus']
Sober MP3 Expired [buy 'Undertow']
Ænema MP3 Expired [buy 'Aenima']
The Pot MP3 Expired [buy '10,000 Days']

Links

Tool Site


- 7 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

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  1. Moz

    Damn right Tool are under appreciated, which is tragic as they're the best damn band on the planet (I'm one of those obsessive types you mentioned!). Lateralus is beauty personified, and possibly the best album ever (well, it's my joint top album ever). CHECK THEM OUT PEOPLE OR LOSE OUT FOREVER. Also, check out The Mars Volta, Neurosis and Isis on the 'interesting' rock front.

    13 Jul 2006, 22:03

  2. they've always sounded interesting enough, but never done anything for me.

    13 Jul 2006, 23:47

  3. dion edwards

    tool is could well be the best god damn band on this fucking planet and do not get recognised for there talant

    09 Feb 2007, 04:05

  4. hayley

    i am also definatly one of those obsesive types aswell…their music is so inspirational and moving to me. they are more than musicians, these guys are gods! i love tool!!!!!!

    28 Apr 2007, 02:28

  5. patty

    i fucking love tool they are the best band there ever was and ever will be dannys amazing dum beats maynards unique voice adams rafs sound far superor to anything else out there and justins can not be beatin not to mention their triped out music videos that are so original and their x member paul who made simple bass rifs sound amazing who else can compete they are the best no question and they are only getting better if thats posible all the best tool and their many fans

    02 May 2007, 03:46

  6. henz

    Tool is amazing. I saw them 3 days ago and they were perfect. every rhythm, every note was perfectly executed. the visuals were amazing too, but i guess thats what you get with floor seats. oh yea.

    25 May 2007, 05:22

  7. Jennifer

    I agree. I’m a bit obsessive in that I bought all their albums and have done the search to see the band members’ backgrounds. However, I’m not a nut-job! I believe Tool has broken thru the mediocre direction rock was starting to take and has managed to keep it on track. Maynard sings about his theories, politics, religion, or just what he feels like, etc. Even if I completely disagree with an idea he’s spouting I find myself singing/tapping/whatever along for the sheer passion in the music. The guitar and drums carry you away and Maynard’s voice is like the bard that led the rats out of the village… we are (happily, ignorantly) the rats!! :-)
    (Side note: isn’t it strange that a famous economist shares a similar name? John Maynard Keynes…)

    02 Jun 2007, 23:50


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