Song of the Moment

J. Cole - Lost Ones

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tool - Undertow

Tool. Great band name - one of my favorite hard rock acts of my time. These fellas are based out of Los Angeles and have been making music since 1988 or so. They have been branded as a metal act, but they could fit into the progressive rock or art rock standard. They've cover art is almost always a topic of conversation and they seem to always dabble in new visual stuff at shows. A TON of people love their shows because of that. They institute a lot of creative imagery that often gets censored by the mainstream. For example, they posed for a photo wearing nothing but a 'Parental Warning' sign over their junk and tape over their mouths. They also had a "tool" that was very phallic they displayed for years. These censorships have led to them having a very ambivalent attitude toward the mainstream music culture. Has it resulted in less music output? Perhaps, who really knows. They took a break recently and have stated that they're just starting to get back in the studio to potentially write another album. They last toured in 2008 and no one has seen or heard from them since. There is a lot of good music and talent behind this band. Some albums aren't as good as others, but the writing and style is always very creative. They're not the NERD equivalent in metal terms, but they're usually very fresh lyrically. And vulgar not in a demeaning sense toward anyone, just in a speak the mind type of sense. I enjoy that. This is very much worth a listen today. You might have to be a metal fan to love it, but I think non metal persons can at least enjoy it. Check out the Top 3 if nothing else.

1. Intolerance
2. Prison Sex
3. Sober
4. Bottom
5. Crawl Away
6. Swamp Song
7. Undertow
8. 4 Degrees
9. Flood
10. Disgustipated

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Sober
2. Prison Sex
3. Flood

3.5 out of 5 stars


  1. I didn't think that I would even listen to a sample of the music but I did. As a matter of fact I listened to all the samples, and I have a clearer understanding as to the rating you gave and why you said "vulgar not in a demeaning sense toward anyone, just in a speak the might type of sense."

    I have to admit though, I like the way the track 'Flood' builds. Bothered sort of feeling though.

  2. I think this genre isn't for everyone. Hard rock can be a tough genre to crack, similar to techno.

    I think Tool is one of the better acts, same as Nine Inch Nails. They are in your face, loud, but lyrically solid. They could probably write rap tracks if they felt like it.

  3. Thats true. I think my mom may have one or so hard rock albums. I don't ever hear them though.

    I think the majority of peoples perception towards hard rock is that it's this uncoordinated, ridiculous random sound that makes no sense. Honestly to me, there are times that I can't make out whats being said but I do give them credit where credit is due. Those guys can dish out a mean guitar riff, I respect that too. I wish I could play guitar on that level. I have an acoustic one I bought a little over a year ago and I'll admit I can't play hardly any tune.

    You ever been to any rock concerts?

  4. I typically don't fall for the screaming acts or the ones that just say stuff to get noticed. Those don't have any staying power.

    Oh sure. I couldn't even name off all the rock shows I've been to. If we're just talking metal, I've been to Staind, Slipknot, Godsmack, Korn, Limp Bizkit.

  5. not to put ya bizness out their, guess you could say I'm a little nosy. A bit off topic, Have you ever had any funky experiences?

  6. The "pit" culture is a little odd to me. A guy I went to the Slipknot show with was about 6'3" and 300lbs. He was always in the pits trying to break another mans face. I don't get that.

    Otherwise, pretty much the usual. People on WAY too many drugs. The smoke making you want to puke. Stuff getting thrown. Nothing major.

    The 'oddest' experience was probably going to a Ludacris show and being one of maybe 5 white people there. I certainly got a few good stare downs.


    LOL, nothing major. Guess if it's the norm. Glad he didn't break your face, I might have to find him and beat him up. NO.

    The Ludacris concert ehh? I suppose they left you alone. Heck, you spent YOUR money to be their, you should have a good time :)

  8. Love Luda. Would probably go back to one. Just dirty looks, nothing actual threat wise.

    Concerts can be funny. Sometimes the best never turn out that way.

    Maybe I'll do a Top 5 of that one day.

  9. everything i just typed was erased, so i will attempt to recreate my ode to tool.

    tool is one of the best live bands. their shows are so different from any other hard rock/progressive metal band, and their sound quality is always amazing despite the venue (dane county coliseum, i'm looking at you). one time when i saw them (i've seen them alot) they had cirque du soleil-type acrobats doing aerial stunts from ropes/scarves. their shows don't have the pit/thrash/FUCK YEAH! atsmosphere that a metallica or slipknot show might (two of my other favorite live bands). everyone in the band is technically amazing. danny care is one of my favorite drummers and maynard one of my favorite vocalists. and i think maynard has one of the most distinct voices in any genre. the collaboration between maynard and chino on the deftones' 'passenger' from white pony is one of my favorites. tool is the one band that i still will make a point of buy the actual cd on the release day when it comes out. no matter how bulky and odd the packaging for 10,000 days is. fun fact: i got my car on the same day as 10,000 days came out. my first trip was to best buy to get it across town in madison where i was living. i blew the speakers in a week.

    'prison sex' is one of my favorite tool songs, if not the favorite. for the guitar, not the lyrics. it would easily make my top five tool songs, along with 'stinkfist,' 'the pot,' 'parabola,' and '46 and 2.'

    their videos are odd. if michael and janet are your favorite music videos, tool's videos are not for you. if NIN has your favorite video, they probably are for you.

    and the live version of 'pushit' from the salival box set is pretty good too. the box set, i maintain, was still one of the best gifts i ever got.

    undertow is probably not my favorite tool album. that honor probably goes to aenima, which has the second coolest packaging of tool's cds (i pick lateralus for the win). i could not pick a second favorite.

    but the members of tool haven't taken a break, i disagree with that assessment. there are probably 50 side projects (danny carey's volto! and pygmy love circus and maynard's pusficer and, oh yeah, a perfect circle). and maynard has his own vineyard and winery and had a documentary out this summer called Blood into Wine. it was playing in MKE for only one day and i missed it (was at a different metal show). and adam jones did all or most of the videos for tool, but i could not tell you anything about any side projects. and i have no idea what their bassist is doing. so don't ask me. tool albums only come out about every 5 years. we'll probably get one next year. i'll be giddy.

  10. who is going to read all that? i need to learn to be more concise.

  11. I did read all of that, and appreciate the remarks.

    Never saw them live. I guess I didn't like them enough to. Maybe some day.

    Who got you this box set? Must have been someone really nice!!

    The members of Tool have taken a break from TOOL. That is all. That isn't my assessment, it's a statement from the band. I don't have a bibliography, but I do have sources.

    aenima is my fave too. Would have reviewed that one, but no samples. Such is life.