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Best of Toadies: Live From Paradise

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Album Review

"No overdubs. Warts and all!" the back of Best of Toadies proclaims, and the veteran Texas band isn't kidding. Frontman Todd Lewis doesn't sing in key — he screams around the key ring lodged in his swollen throat. The band's guitars warble and shake throughout, lurching in and out of choruses and extended instrumental moments like drunken, suicidal sailors playing Pixies covers. Obviously, this is incredible. They may have hit grunge pay dirt with the 1994 single "Possum Kingdom," but the screeching, sludgy track merely crystallized the Toadies' full-bore sound. The fans who crowded Boston's Paradise for this May 2001 show knew this — they howl like rabid dogs during the buildup for "I Burn," chant the chorus of album standout "I Come from the Water," and react with raucous enthusiasm to every bit of Lewis' somewhat lame stage chatter ("Are you guys ready to ROOCCCK???!!!"). Luckily, he and his band are much better at furiously, raggedly rocking; in fact, their commitment to craft can border on uncomfortable. Tracks like "Heel" and the swirling screed "Mr. Love" charge forth with such vitriol, you begin to wonder how many ruptured blood vessels were squirting on stage. Best of Toadies is unquestionably a must-have for longtime fans, especially because of the band's scarce recorded output. It includes the highlights from each album, a spirited cover of "Where Is My Mind," and the live favorite, previously unrecorded "ATF." An enhanced portion includes video clips and revealing band interviews.

Biography

Formed: 1989 in Fort Worth, TX

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Best known as the creators of the 1995 grunge staple "Possum Kingdom," the Toadies formed in 1989 and spent their infancy playing shows in Fort Worth, Texas. Musicians cycled in and out of the Toadies lineup from the very start, and the group soon became the domain of frontman Todd Lewis, a Pixies-influenced musician who wrote and produced the band's early releases. After issuing a series of homemade tapes and bringing drummer Mark Reznicek into the fold, the band released a proper EP, Pleather,...
Full bio
Best of Toadies: Live From Paradise, Toadies
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