Tad: 8-Way Santa

This re-review is generating a significant amount of cognitive dissonance for me. Not only did I recognize very few of the songs on here, I don’t know if I ever would have even guessed it was by Tad if you’d played it for me blind.

The biggest differences between what I’m hearing and what I have plugged into the Tad memory slot of my brain are (1) this isn’t blisteringly heavy all the time, and (2) that vocal is much higher pitched than I remember and than it is on the Salt Lick/God’s Balls compilation. There’s heavy in here (e.g., “Trash Truck,” “Stumblin’ Man”), but the best songs are the ones with a lighter touch and even, gasp, a singable vocal melody. “Candi,” with a strong minor shading, is my favorite. “Flame Tavern” and “3-D Witch Hunt” are more reminiscent of Ben Shepherd of Soundgarden’s side project Hater than anything I’ve heard from Tad.

You have to wade through a bunch of mediocrity at the top of this disc to get to the gold that runs pretty heavily from the very melodic “Flame Tavern” (track six) through “3-D Witch Hunt” (11), which prominently features acoustic guitar, which is pretty much enough cognitive dissonance right there to make my head explode.

Rating:
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Mix: “Flame Tavern,” “Trash Truck,” “Candi”
– “Jack Pepsi,” “3-D Witch Hunt”
– “Jinx,” “Giant Killer,” “Wired God,” “Delinquent,” “Stumblin’ Man,” “Crane’s Cafe,” “Plague Years”
– “Hedge Hog”
Filed Between: Tad’s Salt Lick/God’s Balls and Inhaler
Song Notes: After the jump

  1. Jinx – he’s singing much higher here. Sound is much thinner in general than previous release. The “I’m a jinx” line is a lot like LSD’s “I’m a tank” line. “I’m a jinx, bad luck follows everywhere.”
  2. Giant Killer – “I think I lost an arm/I think I lost a leg…”
  3. Wired God –
  4. Delinquent –
  5. Hedge Hog – short. just 40 seconds. layered talking over a bed of amelodic guitar and drums.
  6. Flame Tavern – This is where they do the stuff, spesh in the verses, where they really remind me of a band like Hater. “She is, she’s a drunken angel/She is, she ain’t got no one.”
  7. Trash Truck – back to their noisy fast heavy loud lovable selves.
  8. Stumblin’ Man – is this a cover? do i have it from a compilation?
  9. Jack Pepsi – Wikipedia says that Pepsi sued them for this song. Which is awesome. Because Tad. “Help me Jack Pepsi.” Like a spoken story song in the style of “Tommy The Cat.”
  10. Candi – cool, spooky vox.
  11. 3-D Witch Hunt – Probably the most Hater-esque song. So weird that acoustic guitar. Not what I think of when I think of Tad.
  12. Crane’s Cafe –
  13. Plague Years – The weird thing about this album is that it’s not that heavy. I mean, I think of Tad as super heavy all the time. I may end up making this full.
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