August 5, 2010

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Toadies, Feeler
Kirtland Records, Aug. 17
The second album in two years from the Fort Worth post-grunge band who invented the radio hit “Possum Kingdom” with its “do you wanna die” chorus (now an integral cog of Guitar Hero II). The band was broken up for several years when bassist Lisa Umbarger went off to raise dogs and get all Dali Lama, not that one could blame her after they suffered the humiliation of Interscope Records telling them that a lot of the material from the original 2001-era Feeler sessions sucked. That’s probably more than you need to know to enjoy this LP, but it’s helpful background being that there’s very little about this album that would persuade one to think of it as something that wouldn’t have worked back in 2001 as a typical edgily hip Interscope product. There’s a lot of commercial post-punkiness here, plenty that’s ear-grabby but not annoying (a Tool-inspired break on “Suck Magic,” Soundgarden-like roaring on “Joey Let’s Go”). It’s a different world, though, post-9/11, and because of that one could almost see this as — I dunno, quaint. Good hard bar-rock (with a quirky enough edge, yadda yadda) is over, but don’t let that stop you from picking this up. B+ —Eric W. Saeger