Category: Tool

Tool – Undertow

ARTIST: Tool                                      undertow

TITLE: Undertow

YEAR RELEASED: 1993

CHART ACTION: #50 US, #22 UK

SINGLES: Sober (#13 Mainstream), Prison Sex (#32 Mainstream, #81 UK)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Intolerance

LINEUP: Maynard James Keenan, Adam Jones, Paul D’Amour, Danny Carey. Henry Rollins guests on a track.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Full length debut from the progressive metal band established their credentials as a serious, conscious band.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: In the midst of the decline and fall of hair metal, and the rise of grunge, came Tool – a progressive band with a socially conscious, outspoken lyrical bent and music that emphasizes musicianship in a metal context.

Maynard James Keenan’s lyrics and vocals are what intice the casual listener into Tool, but then the guitar work of Adam Jones and Danny Carey’s drumming keep you there. At the time, it was refreshing to hear a fresher take on progressive music and metal.

The album does drag, especially at the end. Tool wanted a long statement and they deliver, though the last cut is probably one that can be removed.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: They released an EP in 1992. Since none of their music is streaming, it’s only available as a CD though it’s still in print.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No

GRADE: A-: At the end, it grows long, and the last cut could be left off, but it definitely makes waves in all the right areas.