Heretics

The Toadies

Kirtland Records, 2015

http://www.thetoadies.com

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 10/10/2015

When it comes to acoustic albums, sometimes there’s too much of a good thing. On their sixth album, ‘90s alt rock superstars the Toadies returns with a different tactic. On Heretics, they’ve taken some of their most well loved songs and redone them in a different light; some have horns and the majority is done slightly acoustic, with some electric guitar here and there. On the downside, there are only three brand new songs, which is a bit of a shame because the last album, 2012’s my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Play. Rock. Music. was one of their best ever. “In The Belly Of A Whale,” one of the new tracks, is really strong and consistent with material from the last album – it is the best track here, period.

Turning the epic “Tyler” from Rubberneck into a piano-driven folk song seems rather unnecessary if you ask me. Just doesn’t seem like it was something we needed. It was already a good song – what did they think doing something different to it was going to do? “Beside You” from 2012 is already a great song; it didn’t need to be redone three years later acoustically. One of the most interesting things is the halfway decent cover of Blondie’s disco classic “Heart Of Glass.” Unfortunately, the album is unable to offer anything else the least bit remotely interesting; it’s just disappointment instead.

Perhaps the biggest shock is the acoustic version of their biggest hit, “Possum Kingdom,” whose reinvention takes a lot of the bite out of it and renders it like a damn ballad, which it never was and shall never be. The most heartless addition to the record is the addition of horns to “Backslider.” I’m sorry, but adding horns to “Backslider” does not a good song make.

Now, bands have proven that they can do acoustic albums well (like Alkaline Trio), but they have also proven that they can totally blow and not make it interesting at all (like P.O.D.). Unfortunately, the Toadies has added themselves to the latter category. I had bad feelings about this record as soon as I heard about it and I’ll be damned if my feelings were met head-on.

There’s a reason why certain songs are classics in their original state and to me, that’s how they should remain. If you’re not a massive Toadies fan like I am, you’re much better suited to go check out the original, better versions of these tracks.

Rating: C-

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