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TOADIES – FEELER (Advance Review)

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61YxwPi5ML. SL160 It’s almost wrong to call this an “advance” review, seeing that the bulk of the album was written back in 1997. With leaked versions of unfinished songs floating around the ‘net for years, TOADIES will finally see a proper release of their album FEELER via Kirtland Records on August 10th. For those unfamiliar, it’s a tale heard time and time again: Band hits big, records sophomore album, label hates it, and onto the shelf it goes. 

Thus was the case with FEELER which was recorded to be a followup to the platinum-selling Interscope release, RUBBERNECK.

Thirteen years later, the band regrouped with co- producer Rob Schnapf, who worked on both RUBBERNECK and it’s belated follow-up HELL BELOW/STARS ABOVE to re-record select songs from the lost album. Along with some new tracks, FEELER would finally be complete and ready to be unleashed.

If you’ve ever listened to a rock radio station since about… oh, say 1994 – chances are you’ve noticed that the TOADIES biggest hit, “Possum Kingdom” has never left the airwaves, nor does it sound dated in the least. That bodes well for the coming of FEELER.

The nine-song set is a lean reinterpretation of the 17 songs that were leaked online from the ’97 sessions. The band says that this isn’t necessarily “the album that might have been released as the followup to Rubberneck, but the album that should have been.

That said, FEELER ’10 is a tight little nugget of bass-driven, fuzz-fueled, rock n roll with all of the dark elements that one should expect from the band. “Dead Boy” brings the rock in fast fashion, and for a slight moment does take you back to a time in the mid 90’s. “ATF Theme” is a fun instrumental piece that indeed could be the theme song for a non-existent show about the ATF – just as the title implies. Some may view the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms as a government agency. For the TOADIES it’s a party. Other standouts include “City of Hate” and “Joey Let’s Go.”

With only nine-tracks and a runtime shy of 30 minutes, FEELER plays more like an EP than a full album, but it’s pretty good one.

Rating: 4/5

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