How about a Tool thread?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mike Broadman, Nov 1, 2001.

  1. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    I've noticed lots of people jumping at the bit to throw Tool into discussions. So, here's a Tool thread.
    I don't like rock. Well, not the mainstream stuff, and not the majority of it. But I like Tool.
    When they first came out, I didn't pay too much attention to them. They sounded like a decent metal band, but that's it.
    Aenima is where they really hit their stride. They learned how to construct whole albums, something that's only done by underground "progressive" rock bands.
    The real attraction is the rhythm section. That drummer is the shit.
    I could go either way on the lyrics. Sometimes, they're cool. Sometimes, however, he gets so obscure and starts ranting that it can be a bit annoying, but I guess that's the charm, also.
    As King Crimson fan, I love the looping riffs that they use (46&2 and Schism, for example).
    I don't understand why they're so popular, though. They're albums require some patience to listen to, and compared to other mainstream bands, they're more complex and very moody. I guess it's because what I call "qvetch-rock" (ranting, raving, and egotistical complaining by the "sensitive," suicidal, depressed, singer songwriter) has been very popular since grunge.
    Undertow is a decent rock album. Aenima, as I said, is where they found their voice. Lateralus is the best one so far. Parabola is just so great.
    I've never heard Opiate, because it's supposed to be like Undertow but not as good. I have no interest in that, as I'm much more into their newer stuff.
     
  2. John_Bonner

    John_Bonner Supporting Actor

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    Tool is cool.
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  3. Rob_C

    Rob_C Stunt Coordinator

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    Opiate is a great album. Actually it's one of their better ones. It's just odd hearing them play songs under 5 min. The only one over 5 is the title cut.
     
  4. Dave Dugan

    Dave Dugan Stunt Coordinator

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    Ænima is also where I think they really took off. Don't get me wrong, I liked some of their previous tracks. But as a whole, their previous albums were a little too standard speed-metal for me.
    Ænima works me over in a variety of ways. It's moody, off-kilter and plays around a lot with conventions. Ænema, which is the most traditional-sounding speed-metal track, still kills me for it's breakdown of the speed-metal structure, as well as for the harsh, sarcastic sentiment found in the lyrics.
    Still have yet to fully absorb Lateralus. Will give it my full attention when I have more time.
    -Dave
    [Edited last by Dave Dugan on November 02, 2001 at 10:35 AM]
     
  5. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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  6. Jeff_Krueger

    Jeff_Krueger Stunt Coordinator

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    Vince,
    I'm interested to hear your thoughts on A Perfect Circle. Though it has been awhile since I have listened to "Mer de Noms" I think I liked it better than "Lateralus", at least it stayed in rotation of the current CDs that I was listening to longer than "Lateralus" did.
    Also when you referred to S.O.D. were you referring to System of a Down or a different band? Since there seems to be more and more bands with acronyms for names it's difficult to tell sometimes.
    [Edited last by Jeff_Krueger on November 01, 2001 at 05:42 PM]
     
  7. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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  8. Bill Leber

    Bill Leber Stunt Coordinator

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    Vince, your right about Undertow having the most rage, although I'm not sure about passion. That being said, having the most rage and anger doesn't make it the best, but it is a good reason for it to be people's favorite. I think each of their records has gotten better, with Lateralus being the best. I think the band feels the same way, as evident in their current tour where Prison Sex is the only song being played off Undertow, and only about every other night.
    I started listening to Tool when pretty much everyone else did -- when Sober came out in '93. I bought Opiate and thought it kicked ass, but never got Undertow because all through college someone I knew always had it. By the time Ænima came out I had pretty much stopped listening to metal and was into industrial, alt, and G-Dead/Phish type stuff. I heard Stinkfist and Ænema, but never bought the CD. Fast-forward another 5 years and I found myself really needing something new and different. I bought Lateralus and was blown away. I also went and picked up Undertow, Ænima and last weekend, Salival.
    I'm not sure why I didn't get Ænima sooner because it's awesome. Songs like 46&2 and Pushit just get lodged into my brain. I think I've kinda come full circle. Listening to and appreciating bands like Phish where 10 minute jams are standard got me prepped for my re-introduction to Tool.
    Tool is also a great live band. I saw them in September and highly recommend the show. Lights and video in time with the music with the band basically in shadows.
     
  9. Jimmy Kilgour

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    I agree with Bill - I think Tool gets better with each album.I saw them live for the first time Oct. 4th - absolutely stunning.IMHO Danny Carey is the best drummer in Rock n'Roll.
     
  10. tyler O

    tyler O Stunt Coordinator

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    I think that getting to enjoy PHiSH and hearing undercurrents and recurring themes is what got me to start re-evaluating Tool. I started listening to Tool after Sober and absolutely loved them. I mostly had listened to techno and industrial up until that point, with a good background in 50's - 70's rock. The 80's did (and still do) virtually nothing for me as far as musical bliss, with exceptions from the late 80's and Chrome. I really dug Undertow and thought that Opiate was good. I loved that album and the videos were beautiful. My musical tastes started changing gradually, from harder to slightly less harsh. Songs started getting longer and not neccessarily more complex but more drawn out and fully explored. I heared Aenima when it came out and fully and completely disliked it. I was so very unimpressed and thought that they had so much more potential that was discarded. As Vince feels, I was totally underwhelmed and felt they had much more to offer as angry little boys. Fast forward to 2001 and Lateralus. I bought it the day after it came out and good god, I was floored. I had gotten into King Crimson and some Yes and some of the other Prog legends. I feel I had finally brought myself to the point where I could enjoy Lateralus. And enjoy it I have. It still hasn't left my 30+ I consider my main rotation. Having gone back and listened to Aenima, I realize the folly of my youth, or perhaps I just wasn't ready then. I hope to see them live soon. Personal problems and other issues have caused me to miss them when they came to Atlanta last (two weeks ago?). Just my .02. not really worth that much honestly. Finished spouting. Sorry.
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  11. Camp

    Camp Cinematographer

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    What am I missing about Tool? I try to like them, I really do. I get really into an album but after a couple songs I get bored. I don't know what it is but the same thing happens when I listen to Pink Floyd.
     
  12. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    I think that the comparison to Phish is a good one... and the exact reason why I can't listen to it anymore. The same luke-warm white bread noodling that I find to be like nails on the chalkboard in bands like the Grateful Dead and Phish is popping up within tool.
    I actually kinda wonder how the band would feel being compared to phish?
    Again- certainly not knocking anyone's desire to like the newer stuff- but rock music has, time and time again built itself up to an ugly bloated art rock phase where bands stroked themselves into believing that the world really needed a 9 minute feedback opus, only to be brought back down by raw power (Late 60/early 70's the trippy artsy meander rock was slayed by simple singer songwriter material. As prog dominated the late 70's, punk rock rose to level it all again. Punk evolved into hair metal, and underground rock like Nirvana killed it again. etc, etc)
    Time and time again over the past 40 years something has come along to bring it all back down to honesty. That tide is happening again soon. I certainly understand that the long and meandering tunes of bands like Phish appeal to some, but I'm always found it to be little more than masturbation.
    One thing I've said since I was a teen: "As soon as you make music that appeals to other musicians, you have failed". Anytime a band is touted as having the best XXXXXXX in rock and roll- or praised for their complex song structures... they've lost sight of writing good songs. I find every band that seems to really appeal to musicians (Rush, King Crimson, Radiohead, Tool) to have completely lost track of any concept of writing a good song. Instead flashy playing and "complex" arrangements are substituted for good songs.
    As soon as you make music musicians get ga-ga over, you have lost track of songwriting and are little more than a music clinic.
    MY opinion, YMMV, and probably will! I hope no one thinks I'm thread crapping or hijacking a pro-tool thread. If anyone feels I'm out of line, let me know and I'll leave this thread to the tool fans!
    -Vince
    PS: ANy tool fans want the DVD/CD set, check my trade list- I have a first pressing available. You can claim you were OGT!
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    [Edited last by Vince Maskeeper on November 01, 2001 at 09:21 PM]
     
  13. Jim_C

    Jim_C Cinematographer

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    Let me get this out of the way first: I love Tool. It's refreshing to see an intelligent band make it big these days.
    I think that Vince has some valid points but taken as a whole I respectfully disagree with him. I don't think that there was a lot of filler on Lateralus. Maybe it's the personal expectations that I've formed from years of listening to progressive rock/metal. I expect songs to wander around. Sometimes that's a good thing, sometimes not. My personal opinion is that Lateralus is in the Good column.
    I will admit that Lateralus is not as accessible as past Tool albums. Perhaps that's due to the lack of structured, catchy songs as seen on Undertow.
    Oh, and as for Vince's assessment of Undertow not being speed metal I wholeheartedly agree. Nothing Tool has done is speed metal. The 80's were my teenage years and I constantly listened to bands like Anthrax, Metal Church, The Straw Dogs (Local Boston Band), early Metallica, and Megadeath. How 'bout Motorhead or Suicidal Tendencies? These bands are speed/thrash metal, not Tool.
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  14. Dean DeMass

    Dean DeMass Screenwriter

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    Hehe, I find it a bit funny that Undertow was compared to Speed Metal. I used to listen to a lot of Speed Metal in the 80's (Anthrax, Slayer, King Diamond, Suicidal Tendencies, Metallica, Megadeath S.O.D., M.O.D.), and a bit in the 90's (Pantera). Undertow doesn't even come close to being Speed Metal.
    As far as Tool goes, I have been listening to them since I 1st saw them on the side stage at the 3rd Lollapalooza. I have seen them 4 times (twice on the current tour). They are one of the best live bands I have ever seen and the May 17th show at the Riviera in Chicago ws easily the best concert I have ever experienced, plus they played Opiate. [​IMG]
    IMHO, Tool is getting better, musically, with each album. Opiate and Undertow are the most ragin' of their albums, Aenima and Lateralus are more musical. Which do I like better. Well, for awhile, I felt that Lateralus was their best, but after listening more and more to their previous works, I'll have to go wih Aenima as their best, followed very closely by Lateralus and Undertow. Another reason for my liking Aenima more is that the songs off of this album just sound so great live.
    -Dean-
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  15. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Hmm, it seems there are two seperate things people want here, and it's important to clarify them, as this is a common situation. Are we talking about good rock music, or good music?
    Most people see rock as a 5-minute verse-chorus-verse format based on chords and riffs. If this is so, than Tool is not a good "rock" band, and neither are most of my favorite bands.
    Some also say that if a piece of music focuses on arrangements, exploring themes, and places more emphasis on instrumentation, it has abandoned the "song-writing" format. I personally would say it does not, it's just a different way of writing a song. However, if it does, than I don't care. I'd rather not spend my time fiddling with semantics; I'd rather hear good music.
    I'm guessing that Tool shares a similar mentality. Their last two albums have been Albums, not just collections of songs. The extended forms and instrumental segues aren't "noodling." Is jazz music "noodling" if they don't sing? One thing that bothers me is people discounting musical expression if there are no vocals involved. This is a symptom of being born and bred in the rock 'n' roll AOR environment.
    Yes, Tool has many quite passages that build slowly. They use tension and atmosphere. Curious how Pink Floyd spends 13 minutes holding the same chord on a synthesiser and they are called geniuses.
    If you want Tool to play speed-metal riffs all the time and then get angry when they don't, that's like expecting Celine Dion to break out a sax and start blowing. It just doesn't work that way.
    Tool likes to take musical ideas and invert them, explore them, and place them under various sonical circumstances. They could have a quiet intro with a hint of a melody, then use that as the main riff of a song, only to shuffle it rhythmically for a bridge, and turn it around for an outro. I really like that kind of stuff. You may not, and that's OK, but it's not fair to say that it's "wrong" or some such.
     
  16. Dean DeMass

    Dean DeMass Screenwriter

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  17. Dave Dugan

    Dave Dugan Stunt Coordinator

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    I used the term speed-metal facetiously and for exaggeration. Is there such a term as drumroll-metal? If not, I just coined it.
    -Dave
     
  18. Bill Leber

    Bill Leber Stunt Coordinator

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    The real verdict on Tool will be how their next album sounds. Lateralus relies heavily on building tension with soft/loud and mellow/heavy dynamics. The perfect example being the Parabol/Parabola pair of songs. If their next album sounds the same, I'll be disappointed.
    To me a good artist changes and evolves with time. If you don't like Tool's new direction just stop buying the new CDs and listen to Undertow.
    Radiohead is a perfect example of this. I think they're getting better all the time, whereas I guy I work with thinks Pablo Honey was the best pop album ever and they should make more like it. The point is they already made that album, now it's time to do something different. Tool is the same. It's not that they're complacent millionaires who can't write with passion, they're just uninterested in repeating themselves.
     
  19. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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  20. Kolya

    Kolya Stunt Coordinator

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    quote: Give me youth and passion with sloppy inexperience over length and bloatation with technical proficiency any single day of the week...[/quote]
    I can understand why you feel this way, but I think it's unfair to reject it out of hand. I happen to love both sides; slop (Fugazi/OpIvy/Bad Religion/NOFX) and bloat (Dream Theater/TOOL/etc) for what they are and what they make me feel.
    I'd love to rant and rave, but I'm leaving work in about 2 minutes. Going to be seeing TOOL in about 8 hours. [​IMG]
    [Edited last by Kolya on November 02, 2001 at 02:04 PM]
     

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