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The Tool Page: An Article

Publication: Spin

Date: December, 1996

Transcribed by
Unknown (BLANKIMAGE@aol.com)


  page: 
 title: "Aenima" Review
author: Chuck Eddy

It was given a 5(marginal) out of 10

Tool's genre is yawning-chasm metal-instead of concrete songs 
beginning and ending, volume knobs simply open and close, engulfing 
you like a sperm whale's mouth. The nightmarish and often gag reflex 
activating (e.g., intestine meat oozing through sewer pipes) 
Gumby-in-Hell claymation videos to "Sober" and "Prision Sex" broke 
them out of LA cultdom in 1993. But their grunge was dark and 
hookless, occasionally grunting through constipated funk. On Aenima, 
guitar dude Adam Jones discovers dynamics, sculpting his classical
chord progressions in the Salt-N-Pepa homage "Pushit" into an 
exactitude that rings and buzzes magnificently.
     
Too bad Jones' grandeur constantly loses out to Maynard Keenan's
hollered drill-sergeant melodrama. Keenan only knows how to get 
intense by turning ugly; his vocals stretch only toward bullying low 
notes. In his upper register, instead of soaring, he settles for just 
mumbling blandly. So he's inevitably subdued into submission by the 
sound mix, a shame because once in a while his lyrics aren't humorless 
pretension: "Aenima" itself is 
California-tumble-into-the-sea-Armageddon (cf. Steely Dan and Warren 
Zevon) made mildly amusing by cynical forecasts of "meteor 
showers...followed by billions of dumbfounded dipshits," not to 
mention its helpful suggestions that gangsta guntoters and tatooed 
loveboys learn to swim.
     
1993's platinum-plus Undertow CD ended with a quarter-hour monstrosity
of tedium entitled "Disgustipated" that at least managed to introduce 
Tool to the Wide World of Sound Effects. Three years later, the 
quartet's newfounded audio- verite' bent helps make Aenima their least 
tedious disc yet: rusty styluses scratch, babies cry, vocoders bleat, 
jet engines explode, bass lines boring and tap dance, inclement 
weather inherits the wind. The dainty, under-a-minute "Intermission" 
could pass for dub-reggae whiz Augustus Pablo tinkling carnival organ, 
and there's even a Nuremberg-rally-over-kitchenware klink-klank known 
as "Die Eier Von Satan" that works as an accidental Einsturzende 
Neubauten parody. It's the first time Tool have ever trooly sounded 
like their name.

-----------------
   Well that's it. I love his references. I guess you through in some 
obscure names and that makes him real deep. Incidently, in the same 
set of reviews, Anti- Christ Superstar was given a good review (8 out 
of 10). In the review Marilyn Manson was called a "philosopher." Isn't 
that hilarious. Hope you can use this.

Posted to t.d.n: 05/10/97 17:21:56