REVIEW – 21 years ago a record came out called Rubberneck by an American alternative band called The Toadies. College radio at the time embraced their song Possum Kingdom, and the song got them noticed by platforms like MTV’s 120 minutes and also garnered them some commercial success. Like bands Local H, Son Volt, The Jayhawks, and etc. the band have put out music since that big single and debut record that really should have re-ignited fan passion. The Toadies were the odd story; it took those 7 years to put out the sophomore release, that if you ask me I felt was just as good as the debut. While the songs were a little less catchy and there was no “single” in the bunch, the material was strong on its merit. Record 6 is something different for the band, but it is also something emotional for the fans. I will take this record as a “thank you” for sticking with the band since day one. The Toadies have gone unplugged and feature the re-workings of their past efforts. (Where is Mister Love?) This is a band that is not scared of taking chances and going into weird directions, and this one while the band is describing it as weird and bizarre, I find it beautifully disturbed. Front-man Vaden Lewis comes across very painfully emotional as the band gives him such a beautiful landscape to sing across.
When you hear them do an acoustic version of Possum Kingdom, it is remarkable and feels like I just heard the song for the first time all over again. Now gets into the odd direction of this record, Blondie’s Heart of Glass. Vadan really makes the song sound like his; you soon forget it’s a cover song. It comes across as a mixing of Son Volt and early Airborne Toxic Event. The biggest negative to me is this was not a double cd and we got more songs. There is not one filler song in the whole bunch and to feel the bare naked emotion and instruments blend with the passion displayed by Vadan’s voice. For people who called The Toadies a one hit wonder and think Possum Kingdom was all they had to offer, my god this record is going to hit you right in your face and make you change your mind fast. This is easily the career defining record this band has needed, and while the sound comes across so simple, the way it makes you feel is anything but simple. The Toaies are going to change a lot of people’s perceptions of both “unplugged” and “alternative rock”. This record is what the fans have been waiting for since 1995, and they will not be letdown. If you are new to the band, this record would be a great start to a great band. The Toadies are reborn, and this record is the second coming.
1. “In The Belly Of A Whale” (New)
3. “Beside You”
4. “Queen of Scars” (New)
5. “Rattler’s Revival”
6. “Heart of Glass” (Blondie Cover)
7. “Possum Kingdom”
8. “The Appeal”
11. “Jigsaw Girl”
12. “Send You to Heaven”