Review: Feeler

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Re: Review: Feeler

Postby Josh on Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:41 am

http://www.boston.com/ae/music/cd_revie ... es_feeler/

The Toadies’ “Feeler’’ is finally seeing proper release 13 years after being shelved by the band’s old record label and floating around the Internet in bootleg form. It’s inexplicable why these songs were deemed weak follow-ups to the Toadies’ stellar 1994 debut, as the “Feeler’’ tunes — re-recorded with the band’s current lineup — exude the sinister tension of the breakout hits while also branching out into other sonic turf, like its sparser rumination of “Pink.’’ Perhaps the ubiquity of grunge anthem “Possum Kingdom’’ obscured the broader quality of the band behind it, leaving “Feeler’’ to suggest that the Toadies had the goods all along to grow beyond that moment. True to form, singer Vaden Todd Lewis on “Feeler’’ sounds slightly unhinged as he guides his listeners along twisted paths to points of simmering discomfort. Clocking in at little more than 28 minutes, “Feeler’’ is more EP than LP, but the quality compensates for the quantity. “Dead Boy’’ is a bit of punk thrash and “Suck Magic’’ is a coiled vitriol distinctly different from the creepiness of the “Possum’’-esque “Trust Game.’’ “City of Hate’’ is cutting commentary indicative of the Toadies’ smarts. (Out tomorrow)
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Re: Review: Feeler

Postby Thomas on Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:49 am

http://www.statesman.com/blogs/content/ ... sic_source

By Patrick Caldwell | Monday, August 9, 2010, 04:58 PM

Toadies
‘Feeler’
(Kirtland)
Grade: B

“We tried to make it/But it wasn’t enough,” laments inimitable Toadies lead singer Vaden Todd Lewis on “Feeler” opener “Trust Game.” “When did it happen?/We got jaded/You got lost/And I got wasted.”

That sentiment aptly kicks off “Feeler” — nominally the band’s fourth album, but spiritually its second. A brief history lesson for those not in the know: In 1997, the DFW alternative rock quartet returned to the studio to record the follow-up to “Rubberneck,” the 1994 grunge gem that rocketed the band to radio stardom and birthed a bona fide Texas anthem for the ’90s in “Possum Kingdom.” Interscope Records shelved the resulting album, “Feeler,” and the Toadies wouldn’t release a new record until 2001 — “Hell Below/Stars Above,” which contained three re-recorded songs from the “Feeler” sessions. Versions of “Feeler” eventually made their way onto file-sharing networks, as all things must, but the band broke up in 2001.

Now reunited, they’ve rerecorded songs from the “Feeler” era, pruning the track list from 17 down to a more manageable nine — and opening with the thematically appropriate “Trust Game,” a “Hell Below/Stars Above” B-side. For all that necessary reinterpretation, though, “Feeler” does indeed feel like the late ’90s — and like the product of a band developmentally somewhere between the crunchy rock of “Rubberneck” and the more cerebral joys of “Hell Below/Stars Above.”

“Trust Game” is a terse, sinister slow-burner that feels like a natural segue from “Rubberneck” closer “I Burn.” Things really explode on “Waterfall,” a four-minute cascade of guitars that’s vintage hard-rock Toadies. “Waterfall” also establishes the template for later album tracks like “Dead Boy” and “Suck Magic”: towering guitars, just a pinch of fuzz and plenty of Lewis’ tortured-yet-sweet screeching. There’s a certain monotony at work — though instrumental “ATF’ and the bittersweet “Joey Let’s Go” break from form — but at 28 minutes, “Feeler” is a terse, punchy, perfect treat for Toadies fans.
'Our love is rice and beans and horses lard'
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Re: Review: Feeler

Postby Thomas on Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:52 am

http://type3media.com/2010/08/10/album- ... ies-feeler

Album Review: Toadies – Feeler
August 10, 2010 by Editor

Toadies
Feeler
Release Date: August 10, 2010
Record Label: Kirtland Records
7 1/2 Stars
Review:
The Toadies’ Feeler album holds a unique place in rock mythology. In 1997 the band re-entered the studio to record the follow-up to their highly successful debut album, Rubberneck. But the label rejected the album for unclear reasons, and the band decided to shelve it. Thirteen years later, the Toadies took eight of the songs from the Feeler sessions (plus one additional song) and re-recorded them for a brand new release.

The album opens with “Trust Game.” The song’s dissonant guitar and tapping snare drum combine to create an interesting and unsettling intro. The next song, “Waterfall” is a great rock tune, and my favorite track. The building lyrics of “Now’s the the time, the time is now” makes you want to jump up on your chair an scream it at the top of your lungs. “Dead Boy” has a distorted fuzz that I haven’t heard since the mid-nineties. The song is actually a smart punk influenced anthem with a driving groove and smooth harmonies.

The sound of this album is superb. The band put together a lean and clean production that really highlights just how great these guys sound. Vaden Todd Lewis in particular still wails like he did when he was in his twenties.

The album closes with another strong track, “Pink,” and then it’ done. This tight bundle of tunes runs just shy of thirty minutes in length. Not long enough, because it leaves you wanting… like the band has only whetted you appetite for things to come. Or maybe that’s just the point. Just be sure to set your media player to repeat, because you’ll definitely want to hear Feeler again.
'Our love is rice and beans and horses lard'
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Re: Review: Feeler

Postby Thomas on Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:54 am

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent ... 7587f.html

CD review: Toadies re-record and release 'Feeler'
03:26 PM CDT on Monday, August 9, 2010
By MARIO TARRADELL /The Dallas Morning News
mtarradell@dallasnews.com
Artist: Toadies
Album: Feeler
Grade: B+
Label: Kirtland

Twelve years after it should have been released – ridiculously rejected by the band's label – Fort Worth rockers Toadies finally get to unveil Feeler.

The CD originally was intended to follow 1994's million-selling Rubberneck. The re-recorded Feeler consists of nine songs that passionately detail the quartet's penchant for hard rock soaking in percussive and atmospheric touches as well as a light-meets-dark sonic stew. Among the highlights are the intense "Trust Game" and "Waterfall," the intoxicating, psychedelic "Mine," the brooding, rhythmic "City of Hate" and the scratchy-funky closer "Pink."
'Our love is rice and beans and horses lard'
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Re: Review: Feeler

Postby Thomas on Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:21 am

http://rock.about.com/od/reviews/fr/Toa ... Review.htm

Toadies - 'Feeler' Review
Toadies Resurrect an Old Shelved Album to Reach New Heights
About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating
By Tim Grierson, About.com Guide

Toadies mounted an impressive comeback with 2008’s No Deliverance, and they keep their hot streak going with Feeler, a new album that’s also an old album. A collection of re-recorded songs from their ill-fated follow-up to 1994’s breakthrough Rubberneck supplemented with new tracks, Feeler is a lean, mean album that again demonstrates the bruising power of this Texas trio’s alt-rock.

A Welcome Blast From the Past
Toadies frontman Vaden Todd Lewis and the rest of the group were flying high after the release of Rubberneck. Buoyed by the chart success of “Possum Kingdom,” the band returned to the studio to make what would become Feeler. But their label, Interscope, was unimpressed with the album, forcing the band to shelve the record and start from scratch. Seven years after Rubberneck, Toadies finally returned with Hell Below/Stars Above, but by that time the band had lost all of their commercial standing. The dismal sales for Hell Below/Stars Above led to the band’s breakup, leaving observers to dismiss them as a one-hit wonder from the 1990s’ alternative-rock era. But miraculously, the group got back together in 2008 to produce No Deliverance, a gripping onslaught of twisted love songs burnished with blues-rock intensity. Now with Feeler, Toadies return to their past while demonstrating their continued vitality.

An Album Tied to No Era
While Feeler’s promotional material plays up the record’s “lost album” conceit, the truth is that you won’t listen to these nine tracks and immediately peg them as a product of mid-‘90s angst-rock. With the exception of the Nirvana-channeling “Dead Boy,” the songs on Feeler share little in common with Seattle’s grunge scene or the general tenor of alt-rock from that period. Indeed, like No Deliverance this is an album that’s proudly out of step with both the past and the present. Feeler’s best songs have an unnerving menace that is usually accompanied by lyrics about relationships in tatters. Too much contemporary rock crosses over into misogynistic tendencies, but in comparison a track like “Mine” is a real head-game in which the narrator sounds far more imbalanced than his love interest. And because the music can’t easily be lumped into any one popular genre – too ornery for post-grunge, too streamlined for alt-metal, too muscular for indie-rock – Feeler’s spiky guitars and tight rhythm section keep you on your toes, the vicious melodies as unpredictable as the lyrics.

A Compelling, Scary Singer
As a frontman, Lewis rides a knife’s edge: He has a captivating voice that suggests both antagonism and blunt sexual longing. Even when he’s not signing about matters of the heart, such as on the toxic urban portrait of “City of Hate,” he manages to fill the song with unease, crafting characters you wouldn’t want to be but who are fun to live vicariously through during the length of the track. That’s certainly true of Feeler’s opener, “Trust Game,” which builds from an edgy acoustic opening into a snarling electric-guitar explosion. Keeping his intentions upsettingly vague, Lewis sings about a sadomasochistic relationship that didn’t work out, much to the chagrin of the narrator. One of the album’s peaks, “Trust Game” ably demonstrates what Toadies do so well, making unappealing fictional characters and moods compelling through vital music and cunningly empathetic lyrics. One only hopes that these songs are indeed fictional – running into these people in real life would be hellish.

Short but Certainly Not Sweet
Whether it’s the volcanic instrumental “ATF Theme” or the searing “Joey Let’s Go,” Feeler is a taut, compact album full of propulsive songs. (The album’s longest track just barely cracks four minutes, and the entire record runs a little more than 28 minutes.) Feeler might be too slight to be substantial, but between this record and No Deliverance Toadies are making a strong case that they’re more relevant now than they were during their brief mid-‘90s prominence. Ignoring commercial trends and simply plowing away at their dark-hearted tunes, Toadies have marked their territory quite convincingly.

'Feeler' – Best Tracks:
“Trust Game”
“City of Hate”
“Joey Let’s Go”
“Mine”
“Dead Boy”
Release date – August 10, 2010
Kirtland Records
'Our love is rice and beans and horses lard'
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Re: Review: Feeler

Postby Thomas on Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:26 am

http://www.mysanantonio.com/entertainme ... 99004.html

Review: 'Feeler,' The Toadies
San Antonio Express-News -
Web Posted: 08/11/2010 12:00 CDT

The Toadies
Feeler
Kirtland
If the nine songs on Feeler sound anything like their original versions, only one question needs to be asked: What was Interscope Records thinking?
The label rejected the Fort Worth band's follow-up to the platinum Rubberneck in 1998, effectively derailing its career. By the time the Toadies managed to get Hell Below/Stars Above (with two songs salvaged from the Feeler sessions) out in 2001, rap-rock and alt-metal were in; post-grungy hard rock was out. And before too long, so was bassist Lisa Umbarger, who couldn't take the grind anymore and quit during the Hell Below tour. So they broke up.
Proving you can't keep a good band (or a good album) down, the Toadies re-formed in 2006, and Feeler is finally getting an official release after floating around half-finished in Internet limbo. These re-recorded versions (the band tried without success to track the originals down) suggest that Feeler would have made a sizzling follow-up.
Packed with the raw energy and off-center hooks that have been the band's trademark, Feeler leaves you with a wistful sense of what might have been - and the hope that whoever rejected it has long since been given the boot.
— Robert Johnson
'Our love is rice and beans and horses lard'
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Re: Review: Feeler

Postby Thomas on Thu Aug 12, 2010 9:18 am

http://www.esdmusic.com/2010/08/12/toadies-feeler/

Toadies: Feeler

Posted by James B. Eldred (08/12/2010 @ 8:00 am)
4 stars

Feeler was supposed to be the Toadies’ follow-up to their debut Rubberneck. But Interscope, their label at the time, didn’t like the record and forced the band to re-record it. By the time they finally finished Feeler, it was called Hell Below/Stars Above, it was 2001, and no one gave a crap.

Since then, the Toadies broke up, got back together (with a slightly modified line-up) and even released a new album in 2008, No Deliverance, which was surprisingly really damn good. So they must have thought now was a better time than ever to revisit their “lost” album, going back into the studio to re-record nine of the tracks from Feeler that weren’t retooled for Hell Below/Stars Above.

Hearing the tracks now, it’s hard to understand why Interscope had a problem with the release. Sure, it’s not going to change the world, but it stands up just as well as anything on Hell Below/Stars Above. It’s trademark Toadies, a combination of the Pixies’ quiet-loud-quiet song structure; the urgency of Husker Du; and a general WTF vibe that can only come from Austin, Texas.

People seem to forget that the Toadies are a really weird band. Seriously weird. Which in itself is weird when you think about the fact that their one hit, 1994’s alt-rock classic “Possum Kingdom,” was a five-minute mini-epic about a vampire/serial killer who hangs out behind a boat house. On Feeler we have similar tales of love and happiness, like the obsessive stalker anthem “Mine” and the brutal “Suck Magic,” on which lead singer Todd Lewis seemingly makes threatening compliments about his lover’s oral abilities. Don’t play that one for your girlfriend, guys.

Like most other bands from the ’90s who are still trudging along with new music, the Toadies aren’t likely to increase their fanbase with Feeler, but the fans that remain are sure to love this “new” record. (Kirtland Records 2010)
'Our love is rice and beans and horses lard'
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Re: Review: Feeler

Postby Thomas on Fri Aug 13, 2010 1:08 pm

http://www.pahardcore.com/newsreviews/a ... cleid=9534

The Toadies - Feeler
squanto (15 reviews)
Posted: 07/31/2010
Staff Rating: (4.00/5)


Listening to this album is quite literally like a opening a time capsule from over a decade ago. These tracks were submitted to Interscope whilist your Salvation Army had already become a plaid jungle, and were subsequently rejected for release. While Toadies were a damn good band, they were struggling for relevance in a time where America's youth were hoisting their parent's union jacks and riding the Champagne Supernova of britpop, woo hoo!

For you dudes and dudettes who are trying to remember these guys, let me save you the google by saying, "Hey, remember that 'so help me, Jesus' song"? I do, and I bumped that thing like it was my job... because I probably didn't have one.

Now then, to quote Toadies frontman Vaden "Danger" Todd Lewis, "Since there are unfinished versions floating around on the Internet, it is important to us that people hear it as we meant it to be.". And there you have it folks, while this album has been polished off, it is extremely reminiscent of the sound you have either embraced or dismissed the Toadies for years ago.

In other words, if you liked Rubberneck (this was the intended basis for the follow-up) you'll love this. The guitar strums switch from lazy strums to nuanced angst-ridden attacks with a perfectly accompanying rythm section and masterful vocal deliveries which quickly switch from indifference to incendiary. The songs are well-written and easy to get into, and I very highly doubt their original rejection was at all based on quality issues.

Two particular gems on this album, "Waterfall" and "Joey Let's Go" ironically proclaim both "now's the time, the time is now" and "it was over before it started" (respectively). I'll let you be the judge of that. The fellas are out on tour now.
'Our love is rice and beans and horses lard'
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Re: Review: Feeler

Postby Thomas on Sat Aug 14, 2010 12:25 pm

http://www.star-telegram.com/2010/08/12 ... -than.html


By Preston Jones

pjones@star-telegram.com

The past continues to make the present-day Toadies sound remarkably vital.

As with 2008's comeback effort, No Deliverance, and its spot-on re-creation of late-'90s guitar rock, Vaden Todd Lewis, Clark Vogeler, Mark Reznicek and Doni Blair take a tricky project -- appropriating and re-recording a never-released album, the near-mythic Feeler -- and deliver a pummeling half-hour of menacing music.

The CliffsNotes version of what went sideways with Feeler: After the platinum-plated success of 1994's Rubberneck, Lewis and then-bandmates Vogeler, Reznicek and bassist Lisa Umbarger (who left the band in 2001) began working on demos, sending the rough material to then-label Interscope.

After several tries, the Fort Worth-based group was finally allotted studio time in 1997 to record these new songs, intended for Feeler. Once the master tapes were handed over for the next-to-last stage of mixing, Interscope shelved the project. It was nearly two years before the band would start over, which resulted in 2001's Hell Below/Stars Above. Mere months after it was released, the Toadies broke up.

Almost a decade later, the Toadies reunited, with Blair in Umbarger's place, and joined the parade of Grunge Decade veterans reuniting to embark upon lucrative tours.

Unlike most of those '90s refugees, Toadies actually sounded and felt like a band half its age. No Deliverance silenced any doubts that muscular, sinister rock music had ever really gone out of style.

Feeler, which clocks in at a startlingly brief 28 minutes and nine tracks, is an odd bird in that, instead of simply releasing the product of those decade-old sessions, the Toadies went back into the studio with producer Rob Schnapf and reworked nine of the nearly 20 songs reported to have been recorded in 1997.

The result is a band picking up where it left off at the height of its fame, yet also following up a well-received return to the spotlight. Both times, expectations were/are roughly the same; can the Toadies build upon their success and move forward?

If brutal, propulsive tracks like Dead Boy or Suck Magic are any indication, the new album that Lewis and company are reportedly cutting this winter will be no less intense than the band's catalog to date. The Toadies excel at meshing lyrical foreboding and furious riffs like few other bands.

Lewis keeps the vein-popping screams to a minimum, but when he lets fly, as he does during the climax of Joey Let's Go, it's enough to make you clamor for the flannel and Doc Martens.
'Our love is rice and beans and horses lard'
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Re: Review: Feeler

Postby Josh on Tue Aug 17, 2010 2:06 pm

http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=am ... ldldte~T00

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

The Toadies never planned to take a seven-year hiatus between their hit 1994 debut, Rubberneck, and its 2001 sequel, Hell Below/Stars Above. The band recorded a full album called Feeler in 1997, but Interscope rejected the album, pushing it deep into the vaults and having the group record a brand-new album, resulting in a long break that effectively stalled any momentum they had in their career. The Toadies finally started to get things rolling again as an independent act in 2008 when they attempted to release Feeler once again, but the label refused to sell them the rights to the record (there were some unsubstantiated suggestions that the master tapes had been lost), so the Toadies did the next best thing: they re-recorded the material and released it on their own. Now, the 2010 Feeler isn’t necessarily the same album that the 1997 Feeler is, and not just because a handful of songs that wound up on Hell Below are absent: the Toadies didn’t re-create, they simply play the songs. Without A-Bing the original recordings and this 2010 revival it’s impossible to know the subtle differences, but there’s a certain sense of accomplished musicianship that the Toadies lacked in the late ‘90s, an era in which the songs are otherwise rooted. There are no undeniable hooks along the lines of “Possum Kingdom,” but the ten songs -- clocking in at a crisp 28 minutes -- are sturdily constructed and would have by no means been an embarrassment if they had appeared in 1998…and even if it’s unlikely that they would have been commercial enough to be a hit, it would have been enough to keep the band’s career momentum going. As a record in 2010, the ten songs are an unapologetic throwback, not quite distinctive enough to suggest that a reevaluation of the band is in order, but certainly pleasing for fans -- and even if you’re not a fan, it’s hard not to be a little pleased that this forgotten chapter in the band’s history has been published.
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