Category: Tad

Tad – Inhaler

ARTIST: Tad 220px-Tad_Inhaler

TITLE: Inhaler

YEAR RELEASED: 1993

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: Leafy Incline

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Grease Box

LINEUP: Tad Doyle, Kurt Danielson, Gary Thorstensen, Josh Sinder

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: This may be the ultimate heavy grunge record. Hooks and heft. It didn’t sell. Damnit.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Long regarded as the heaviest band in the grunge scene (Tad Doyle’s weight notwithstanding – he as a big boy), Tad’s major label debut was a record that should have propelled them into the territory of Helmet in terms of recognition and sales.

It wasn’t meant to be.

While their previous record was an A+ due to attitude and spirit, this album rates as highly.  The material is consistent, there are actually hooks, huge riffage, more actual singing (not that I don’t mind Tad’s yowl), and plenty of material that could have been on some radio station’s playlist (it’s 1993, a lot of stuff got on there) or on Headbanger’s Ball (“Luminol” anyone?)

J. Mascis’ production reins in the sound a bit, and focuses the band into a consistent sonic palette. It’s still heavy and fun, though, and catchy. Just didn’t make it. Damn it all.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: “Grease Box” was used during the credits of an Edward Furlong movie.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No

 GRADE A+: This isn’t a ‘homer’ call. It’s bonafide one of the best 90’s records, and one of the heaviest and riffiest.

Tad – 8 Way Santa

ARTIST: Tad                                   220px-Tad_8_Way_Santa_Alternate

TITLE: 8-Way Santa

YEAR RELEASED: 1991

CHART ACTION: Hell, no.

SINGLES: Jinx, Jack Pepsi

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: No, sadly.

LINEUP: Tad Doyle, Kurt Danielson, Gary Thorstensen, Steve Wied

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Tad and Butch Vig unleash holy hell.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Thick, fat riffs. Vocals that will (for the most part) scare your grandmother. Surprisingly complex musicianship underneath the clatter. This may be the grungiest album in all of the Seattle scene. 220px-Tad_8_Way_Santa

Surprisingly, there are a couple of tracks where Tad Doyle actually sings instead of yowls. But that’s neither here nor there. Most every song has a huge riff that carries through the song, and surprisingly hooks enough for you to have the tracks embedded in your brain.

The album kind of winds down into a couple of the quieter tracks., but still with a great guitar tone and melody. Butch Vig does great work letting Tad be Tad. Essential grunge here.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: It was a good thing Sub Pop had the points from the Nirvana album, since Tad was involved in two suits. First, the original cover (of the long-haired guy cupping his ol’ lady’s breast) was a photo the band found at a yard sale, and the couple didn’t appreciate it.

Then, the fantastic track “Jack Pepsi” was a single, but the cover parodied the famous Pepsi logo. Pepsi did the ol’ cease and desist.jackpepsi

Oh, and the title is a reference to a type of LSD blotter.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes. Demos, b-sides, and outtakes. They all are just as heavy.

GRADE: A+:  This may be another ‘homer’ call, but it encapsulates grunge before it all went strictly commercial.

Tad – Salt Lick

ARTIST: Tad                saltlick

TITLE:  Salt Lick

YEAR RELEASED: 1990

CHART ACTION: None

SINGLES: Loser

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Wood Goblins.

LINEUP: Tad Doyle, Gary Thorstensen, Kurt Danielson, Steve Wied

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: An EP of mass destruction of your ears – heavy duty grunge.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Hot on the heels of God’s Balls, Tad Doyle and crew cranked out an EP which built upon and expanded the hard, grungy sound of the group. I kid you not, this is heavy duty, resembling Tad’s stout frame.

The first side of the EP is absolutely vital for any student of this era (“Axe to Grind”, “High on the Hog”, and “Wood Goblins” – one of the best videos of the genre). The other side seems somewhat redundant, which was the problem with the band at the time. Heavy as they were, there weren’t any changeups here.

When this was released on CD later that year, Sub Pop added the single “Loser” – the rallying cry for Tad and the entire movement. Loser’s got nothing to lose.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: If you try to Google “Axe to Grind” to find the lyrics – you get Bastille and Sawyer Brown. Not the same song, not even in the same area code.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Well, when this came out on CD, they added seven of the 10 tracks from God’s Balls (why not make two separate CDs?) and didn’t add the B-side of “Loser”. With the new releases out now, they add that B-side, a great compilation single “Habit & Necessity” and a Black Flag cover.

GRADE: B+:  Four essential tracks. Not a bad percentage.

Tad – God’s Balls

ARTIST: Tad                                    220px-tad_gods_balls

TITLE:  God’s Balls

YEAR RELEASED: 1989

CHART ACTION: Are you kidding? No, really.

SINGLES: None

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Well, I’VE heard them, of course. Real hipster grungy people, too!

LINEUP: Tad Doyle, Gary Thorstensen, Kurt Danielson, Steve Wied

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT:  A large man leading a heavy band. They were the grungiest.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Tad roared out of the Pacific Northwest with this opus, a couple years before Seattle was known for anything but coffee, airplanes, computers and smack.

Defiantly uncommercial, vulgar, macabre, and just weird, Tad was also very heavy. Detuned guitars making a holy racket, with a bass and drum there to pound away as well. However, if you can cut through the clatter, there’s a method to the madness. The feedback adds to the sonic layers, and there’s some interesting tunings and changes going on.

The song’s subjects are best illustrated in the titles of some of the cuts: “Behemoth”, “Pork Chop”, “Cyanide Bath”, “Boiler Room”, “Satan’s Chainsaw”,“Nipple Belt”. Tad yowls them like a demented wolverine, which is apt.

This record gets repetitive after a while, but for a blast of pure loud grunge, one or two cuts will do.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Tad himself had a music degree from the University of Idaho.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Just now, Sub Pop released their three albums for the label with bonus tracks and it sounds gloriously loud.

GRADE: B-: I don’t think this is the record for non-fans, and it gets a little repetitive, but for the converted it’s righteous!