Friday, June 06, 2008

FDF Vol 1 Issue 96 Tad - Infrared Riding Hood

Album - Infrared Riding Hood
Artist - Tad
Key Players - Josh Sinder - drums, metal percussion, saw blades, backup vocals and screams. Kurt Danielson - bass, vocals, backups and screams. Tad Doyle - vocals, all guitars, keyboards
Produced By- Jack Endino and Tad

Release Date - April 11, 1995

What caused me to blow off the dust? The new documentary ""TAD: Busted Circuits and Ringing Ears". Check out the Trailer..

Overview - This was the fifth and final album from Seattle band Tad. For this record the band was a solid three piece band for the first time ever. The band was sort of going in another direction, but still remaining heavy. In the studio the band, who shared management with Ministry, took to trying hitting metal pipes even for heavy and unique sounds. According to the aforementioned documentary the band was actually dropped from their label (for a second time) the week that this album came out. The band, who grunge fans embraced early in the wave of grunge bands didn't care for this record as much, and with lack of label support the band decided to call it a day.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - Danielson, who is show cased throughout this record opens up "Ictus", with a massive throbbing bass line. Sinder rifles off the drum line and the guitars hit over the top. After a few bars we get a scream and some stop start riffs. It is a heavy and brutal track. The vocal is buried a little in the mix and heavily distorted, but the bass and drums hit you so hard you hardly care. When the chorus comes in the vocals get cleaner, but the song still hits like a jackhammer. "Bullhorn" opens equally as heavy, and I swear the opening has been ripped off by Stone Temple Pilots, perhaps it is just me. The vocals growl and the song chugs along, to a sort of soaring chorus. Its a little unlike the Tad fans had expected, but it shows they are a little more dimensional. The bass of Danielson once again leads off as "Thistle Suit" begins. This, although still having a "big" sound is a slower track from the band. "Emotional Cockroach" is one of the tracks to have a very heavy percussion feel to it. On this track Sinder actually hits metal pipes with hammers for a unique clank/clank sound. The guitars have a punchy sting to them as well. It is easy to here the influence, or suggestion, to employ some of what the band Ministry was doing at the time. This song also has a great breakdown at the end with some heavy and often duplicated riffs. "Red Eye Angel" opens a little lighter, but don't let that fool you. Still a hard hitting song the vocals at the outset are a little more relaxed as the music presses along. The guitar has a heavy/crunchy sound to it during the chorus, and the bass is brought up in the mix perfectly. "Bludge" opens with the chugging bass and machine gun drums. We are heavier once more. The chorus on this track is cool in that it lightens up, but for only a part, going light, then heavy musically is what I mean. There is a strong drum break down about 2 minutes in before the band hammers down once more. We get more a higher pitch from the guitar at the intro to "Dementia". The bass and drums, saying for the millionth time, are really strong. The mix doesn't bury any of the fills (bass or drums) and allows for a short diversion, and it always stands out. Opening with sort of bubbly guitars (well for Tad) "Weakling" slowly builds and then I swear to all that is good an holy your face gets punched off. About 35 seconds in the wall of Tad rips you a new one. We chug heavy for the verses with an occasional flashy guitar riff but come the chorus we get a scream(s) that convince you a steady diet of razor blades, cigarettes and whisky will do you the trick. The monster sound they get on this track just rule. The riff from about 2:50->3:10 awwwwwwwwww yeah and then it ends. We drop it down a notch at the start of "Halcyon Nights" but before you know it, everyone is head down rocking. Why is track, or band on freaking Guitar Hero? Someone will smarten up and have a the "balls out" version released one day..but I digress. A single guitar and drums bring up "Particle Accelerator" before there is a bass slide and the band all comes in. How three guys make this much noise is impressive to say the least. The vocals are sort of spoken/chanted leading to the chorus. We still get the monster riffs that we expect. Another track with the different sounds used is "Tool Marks" where the metal, or something it clanked again. The bass has the steady chug and Tad has the riffs to compliment. We get a lot of short "ugghs" and bursts of screams, and although the song has the heaviness, it doesn't really stand out. The album closes on the somewhat out "Mystery Copter". The vocals are heavily compressed and the call and response verse just has one vocal line give as "Its all right" and the response is a "Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck you". It leads up to what appears to be a verse, given about as fast as Tad is capable of musically, then it goes back to the "Its all right" part. Sort of rinse, lather, repeat but the music is so freaking heavy, if you made it this far the reward is great. It is easy to see how and where the "grunge" sound was developed and embraced. Once the track ends, bail out as from 4:50->7:15 its just some sort of droning nonsense, then after that it is silent until 17:15 when the drone starts up again until 27:+. Skip me.

Where are they now?
As noted, Tad disbanded in 1999. Danielson, who, like Tad, was in then band from the beginning went on to join a band called "Valis". Josh is currently playing in a band called "Hellbound for Glory". Tad Doyle, according to a blog entry in June of 2007 had formed a new band and at the time was calling it "Brothers of the Sonic Cloth" and they are active to this day (with some line up changes). Finally, according to the documentary the band has some unreleased demos that could see the light of day in 2008.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience)
- I did actually see Tad live one time. I can't remember the date as I have no ticket stub, but the biggest reason I went was for the opener, who was Thearpy?. It was at Axis in Boston..probably on tour for the "Eight Way Santa" album, but I can't be 100% sure. Still I remember seeing Tad, and the huge wall of Amps. Needless to say, within days I had as much Tad music as I could find.

FDF Overall Take - Tad as a person, and the band were to put it nicely were not really made for MTV generation. Loved by their fans and held as icons with their peers in the "scene" Tad were really one of the first "grunge" bands. Sadly, they might be overlooked, but if you like the genre, at least in doses, check out Tad and see what you have been missing.

Links -

Tad (the band) - myspace
Tad also has a blog
Brothers of the Sonic Cloth on myspace
Kurt on myspace
Josh drums for Hellbound for Glory and their myspace is here

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

**all mp3's have been removed***

Bullhorn tell me Stone Temple Pilots didn't steal this riff...
Emotional Cockroach
Weakling this is some HEAVY stuff..

All the tracks taken from "Infrared Riding Hood" which you can buy here

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.


At 2:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

cool. i will check this out.

At 3:38 PM, Blogger Ello said...

I've never heard of them before! Good write up!

At 11:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Follow-up: iTunes never heard of them either. Have to go to a dusty old record store. Are those even around anymore? Visiting those...*sigh*...those were the days.


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