Monday, December 26, 2011

No. 892 – Pushit

Performer: Tool
Songwriters: Maynard James Keenan, Adam Jones, Danny Carey, Paul D’Amour
Original Release: Ænima
Year: 1996
Definitive Version: None

Beavis & Butthead begat my discovery of Tool, which led to my purchase of Undertow, and that made me a fan enough that I would definitely buy the next album whenever it came out, which it did just before me and Debbie’s trip to New England. But I left it at home, because I thought (correctly as it would turn out) that it was too harsh for her tastes. She liked hard rock but not metal.

And Tool was definitely metal. But Ænima showed the future of the band wasn’t going to be just head-banging. The progression from Undertow was such that by the third album, I was describing Tool to anyone who was interested (and a few who weren’t) that it was as though ELP played metal—long, dense songs that showed off the bandmembers’ virtuosity.

And I wasn’t the only one who felt that way, apparently. Tool played Lollapalooza when it was a tour in 1997, and one of the stops was in Columbus. I didn’t go, but I remember reading The Dispatch’s review in my new living room after Debbie and I bought the house in June (many stories to come there).

The reviewer at the time was constantly mocked by the alternative press for being a lame twit, and if he wasn’t the tastemaker of hip that the alternapress wished they were, every once in a while he nailed it. His review of Tool at Lollapalooza was one of those times. He wrote, specifically about this particular song, as I recall, that listening to Tool’s music was like watching a 747 take off: You think there’s no way that something that big and heavy can get off the ground, yet it does.

I thought that was pretty cool, and I don’t recall the hipsters writing anything that topped it.

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