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A TOOL-Related Article

Publication: Spin Magazine, Lollapalooza Preview

Date: 1993

Transcribed by "Mike `Shmoo' Smuland" (jsmuland@osf1.gmu.edu)




by Sue Smallwood

tool

Undertow, debut LP from the Los Angeles-based Tool, explores similar post-
Killing Joke environs as Helmet and Prong.  It's a sweet-and-sour sound,
by turns deceptively gentle, oddly dissonant, and unforgivingly brutal. 
        Tool's seething songwriting is informed as much by the obscure
philosophy of Lachrymology ("An individual approach to delving into
suffering," lyricist Maynard Jamed Keenan explains) and Jungian discourse,
as the group's collective fondness for the eclectic likes of the Swans,
Tom Waits, Joni Mitchell, and '70s metal, prog, and punk rock.  Strains of
each reveal themselves in emotionally acute assaults on lovers, enemies,
activists, and assholes.  Good group therapy for Tool's members and
listeners alike. 
        "The approach is an open invitation," says Keenan.  "There's a
song on the EP ['92's Opiate], `Part of Me,' specifically written as a
double- edged sword; it could almost be a relationship song - somebody
told me they thought it was about God.  Acutally, it was about
masturbation.  We like to open it up where someone could insert other
ideas.  You'll hear what you want to hear, you'll hear what you need to
hear."


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