home Album Review TOADIES: Hell Below/Stars Above CD Review

TOADIES: Hell Below/Stars Above CD Review


So much has happened for and to this band since those meager coffee house gigs in Forth Worth, TX. And just when we were dreading the thought that they were one of those fly-by-night blurs, Toadies are back in an extra large way! After a long and mysterious hiatus, Toadies have re-emerged and retained that awesome, chop-riffed, signature style that stuck to the ribs with their debut release, Rubberneck back in ’95. By the way, “Possum Kingdom”, the single from that CD, is still getting plenty of airplay after all these years. The previously released EP, Pleather, didn’t garner nearly as much attention as the debut, but the prediction is that this new one certainly will.

This hard-hitting, new CD due to hit the streets in March, is truly something to behold. On Hell Below/Stars Above, the in-your-face guitars are still raw and relentless, the bass and drums are fierce, and just when you thought you had enough, enter that voice. This voice sounded like a bullet to my heart when I first heard them play live. There I sat, right on the stage, while a band called Toadies warmed up for Bush at the Roxy, way back when Gavin Rossdale was still the flavor of the month. For days and days after the show, all I could do was rave to my friends about the sheer passion in this frail boy named Todd’s voice. And I distinctly remember telling Lisa, the bassist, that they wouldn’t be loading their own equipment off the stage much longer. Soon, they would have roadies, and a real bus, and an entourage, and press breathing down their necks, and a world tour to deal with. She politely thanked me, and responded, “Let’s hope so” in a soft Southern drawl.

Back to the goods. Hell Below/Stars Above is chock full of exposed, raucous rock n’ roll, as it should be! You’ve got your love songs, your rebellion, your suggestive lyrics that are open to interpretation; all of which are backed up with a vengeance with whining, squeaking, twanging, bashing, almost punk-influenced guitars and drums. There should be a decibel requirement included on the jewel case of this CD.

Favorite tracks: “You’ll Come Down”, “Plane Crash”, and a little number called “Doll Skin” that reminded me to listen to the old heartbreaker called “Tyler” from Rubberneck. This track immediately brought my stomach to a sickening swoon with the opening plead of guitars. Get this CD and save this song for last, as it was meant to be.

Hell Below/Stars Above is proof positive that Toadies are worthy of a tour rider with whatever the Hell they want on it! Support this band. Dig deep into your pockets and piggybanks and buy this!

You want more info? Hit the bands official website by clicking here: http://www.thetoadies.com/

Lesa Pence

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