Thursday 24 Apr

IndianGiver - Understudies

There’s a difference between being derivative and being inspired by something, a line a lot of artists can’t seem to find — or at least don’t care to.
04/22/2014 | Comments 0

Dustin Prinz - Eleven

Few musicians take the time to master their instrument in the way that Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Dustin Prinz has; he’s a guitar virtuoso in every sense of the word, and Eleven gives him the chance to show just how far he can push that skill.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Horse Thief – Fear in Bliss

Listening to Horse Thief’s previous release — the haphazardly melodramatic Grow Deep, Grow Wild — felt like a chore. Whatever potential the Oklahoma City folk-pop act demonstrated on the EP was obscured behind a formulaic, contrived and ultimately hollow cloud. But it at least offered a glimmer of promise for a band consisting of, frankly, five pretty talented dudes. Critics saw it; the band’s management saw it; its current label, Bella Union, saw it; and its increasingly fervid fan base saw it.
04/08/2014 | Comments 0

Colourmusic — May You Marry Rich

There’s always a sense of danger when debuting songs in a live setting and playing them well. Without having heard the studio versions, expectations are set according to the live incarnations. But capturing the breadth of free-flowing atmosphere and sheer volume on a disc, vinyl or digital file isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially for a band as vociferous as Colourmusic.
04/01/2014 | Comments 0

Em and the MotherSuperiors — Churches into Theaters

As titles go, Churches into Theaters is an apt descriptor for the debut album from Oklahoma City rockers Em and the MotherSuperiors. It’s a reverential record, one that shares the gospel of classic rock, blues and soul but embraces the need to refashion it for modern times, channeling The Dead Weather, Grace Potter and Cage the Elephant along the way.
03/25/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · The Toadies nearly croaked in...

The Toadies nearly croaked in 2001, but have returned with new album

Phil Bacharach October 23rd, 2008

As lead vocalist for the Toadies, Vaden Todd Lewis does a lot of singing " and snarling, for that matter " about rage, resentment and toxic relationships. His most famous song, "Possum Kingdom," allud...


As lead vocalist for the Toadies, Vaden Todd Lewis does a lot of singing " and snarling, for that matter " about rage, resentment and toxic relationships. His most famous song, "Possum Kingdom," alludes to vampirism and, perhaps, murder.

But Lewis insists his lyrical obsessions are not an admission of psychosis.


"I'm definitely not a pissed-off, bummed-out guy," he said in a recent phone interview. "It's weird because people expect me to be. Maybe that's why, because if I get pissed off I can write a song about it. And I also get to scream my ass off for an hour and a half a night."

Still, it would be understandable if the Ft. Worth, Texas, native had a bit of residual anger rattling around inside him. The Toadies' wild ride to rock stardom was cut short by record-label mischief. In 1994, the band seemingly burst out of nowhere with the debut album "Rubberneck," a stripped-down onslaught of Nirvana-styled post-grunge. The record sold a million copies and boasted a hit single with the sinister fantasy of "Possum Kingdom."

Then nothing. Interscope, the Toadies' label at that time, mothballed the group's 1998 sophomore effort. Some of that material eventually made it into "Hell Below/Stars Above," a follow-up record finally released in 2001, but the damage had already been done. The Toadies had lost precious momentum by then, and broke up less than six months later.

But reunions are as much a part of rock 'n' roll as sex, drugs and illegal downloads. The Toadies have now reunited and are touring the country in support of their first record together in seven years.

The group's reformation came about when the 43-year-old Lewis, who went from the Toadies to Dallas' Burden Brothers, found himself with some downtime.

"I was pretty much just at home, climbing the walls like I'll do when I'm writing music and not sure what I'm going to do with it," he said.

"Then it dawned on me that a good chunk of the songs sounded very Toadies. So I called the guys."

The result of that endeavor, "No Deliverance," is a triumph of blistering, heart-pumping post-punk. Lewis and his bandmates " guitarist Clark Vogelar, drummer Mark Reznicek and bassist Doni Blair " sound as tight as a clenched fist, welding dirty Texas blues to a no-frills punk attitude. The Toadies will join People in Planes and Year Long disaster for a Friday show at Oklahoma City's Diamond Ballroom.

"My wife describes it perfectly. She says it's like the Pixies doing ZZ Top songs," Lewis said.

"I think it's just digging down to what got me started writing music in the first place. I wrote this whole record very quickly and we recorded it very quickly, and that was an asset for us. You go in and your objective is to write a song today, and it just comes out of you and you don't second-guess it. In the studio, we did the same thing. There's an energy there that you can't just duplicate, and that's kick-ass."

It remains to be seen if the Toadies are back for the long haul. Lewis said he learned long ago the futility of trying to predict the music business. He does know, however, that there is an audience for the band's straightforward sonic ferocity. Longtime fans have been waiting years to hear Lewis and company charge through such rousing rockers as "Tyler" and "I Come from the Water," while younger audiences might know the group by the inclusion of "Possum Kingdom" on the "Guitar Hero II" video game.

"The bottom line is we know what most people are familiar with," said Lewis.

"We do a good hunk of 'Rubberneck,' a good hunk of 'Hell Below/Stars Above,' and we scatter in four to six new songs. I don't want to be the guy driving everybody to go back to the bar because they're getting bored by the new songs." "Phil Bacharach

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5