8-Way Santa [Remastered Deluxe]

TAD

Sub Pop, 2016

http://www.taddoyle.com/tad

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 01/25/2017

One of the quintessential acts of the grunge explosion, TAD was a bit heavier and darker than other bands and that helped them stand out from the rest of the pack. By the time they got around to making their second full-length, they had beefed up their sound and approach and hooked up with producer Butch Vig, soon to become renowned for producing my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Nevermind. With this record, the band really made a masterpiece.

From the heavy kick of the opening track, “Jinx,” the band is ready for anything. The record’s heaviness never lets up, even when the band go a bit slower with something like “Stumblin’ Man;” even on my personal favorite “Plague Years,” one of the most oddly poignant songs in the band’s catalogue, the slowness of the track doesn’t take anything away from its overall power. For me, it truly is one of the highpoints of all of grunge.

Songs like “3-D Witch Hunt” are full-on alternative rock, while “Jack Pepsi” has more of a metal feel to it. The latter’s almost truth about drunk driving is harrowing and exciting at the same time. It’s also one of the more controversial aspects of the band’s career. A CD single released by Sub Pop contained a takeoff of the Pepsi logo, and when the company found out about it, released an injunction and had the single pulled off the market. On the new remastered edition of the album, the song is just known as “Jack.” But the song’s power has never died and is still lauded as one of the band’s best.

With the new remastered deluxe edition hitting the streets, some of the unreleased tracks like “Pig Iron” are hitting the market; this one turns out to be a great cut, something that definitely could’ve wound up on the original disc. One of the edition’s best moments is “Eddie Hook,” sung by bassist Kurt Danielson, and it’s one of the most sinister things the band ever did – that’s a good thing. The tracks all sound so fresh and heavy and the sound is so crystal clear. Jack Endino really did a great job with this and helped to make an already great record into an even greater one.

Rating: A

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