Metal Track for November

“Right in Two” by TOOL. Let me tell you why this little ditty kicks ass.
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First, let me discuss the general issues. Now, I’ve spent countless hours dissecting Tool songs, mostly because Danny Carey’s chops are awesome enough to puzzle me for a while, but not so crazy that I can’t eventually figure out what’s going on. So I know the Tool catalogue. I heard the entirety of 10,000 Days on the radio before the CD was released, and I remember thinking, “What the hell?” The songs didn’t seem to fit together at all. “Vicarious” seemed like it got bumped from Lateralus and thus was not much of a step forward (yet still rocked), I didn’t know what the hell “Jambi” was supposed to be (now I love it), and then there was the song “10,000 Days” in two parts, which gave a new sound for Tool. On the whole, I was disappointed on the first listen.
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So, here’s a review after some digestion. It’s sometimes better to review an album after you’ve chewed on it a while, so you’re not shooting from the hip. I’ve absorbed enough of 10,000 Days to feel safe in saying that the songs still don’t cohere that well with each other, but I don’t care, because most of them completely rock in their own right. The first five tracks kick ass. I continue to have no clue what’s going on with tracks 6-9, and I don’t give “Rosetta Stoned” any heed at all. The last half of the album remains mostly a let down, except for “Right in Two.”

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“Right in Two” will not seem like a metal track at first. The slow guitar part up at the front conjure a strange resemblance to the guitar work on “Every Breath You Take” by The Police, (although the latter is in 4/4 and the former is mostly in 11/4) because of the smooth, creamy melody. At 2:50 Danny Carey’s groove is gentle, but funky in isolation.
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Maynard somberly takes on the problem of human war from the perspective of the angels, who wonder why we don’t use our God-given gifts for peace. I’m not going to pretend the song is perfect; a lyrical misstep occurs when Maynard tells us that the angels are on the sideline, “baffled and confused.” The two terms are synonymous. He should have just repeated the earlier phrase, “baffled and amused.” Another odd part is that Maynard seems to weave in hints of evolution, referring to us as “Silly monkeys [who] make a club and beat their brother down.” I’m fairly confident that Maynard is still not a fan of religion, and so there might be some irony in the religious overtones. At any rate, I’m not going to get bogged down in hermeneutics here. Maynard sings his balls off on this song, and that’s a fact.

At 5:24 into the track, Tool caps a long crescendo by unleasing total HELL. This is what makes the track into a work of metal capable of sending chills down your spine. Tool’s sense of production shines here, as the sound is completely full, round, and heavy. Kinda like Bro Taguchi. Danny Carey and Justin Chancellor pound it out, and it just might sound like war. DC’s toms explode left and right, until the whole damn thing grinds to some crazy syncopated pattern at 6:59 until it re-explodes in a monstrous fill at 7:06, carrying back into a steroid-pumped replica of the verse and then into the chorus.

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Bottom line: Tool knows how to construct a song, from start to finish. There’s no doubt that they put shit-tons of effort into every song, without getting overly crazy like Dream Theater does. That’s why I respect them. Tool is not going to kiss your ass. If anything, they’ll stick out theirs for you to kiss. You’re going to have to meet them on their terms, and if you want a 3-minute musical-orgasm, you’ll just have to call Justin Timberlake. But I’ll review “Sexy Back” later on.

-Spankomatic 500

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About MC_Spanky_ McGee

Spanky really likes Wendy's #6, and does not buy the so-called purist's prohibition against adding onions or pepperjack to Spicy Chicken. Spanks also rocks out El Burrito Loco in DeKalb, IL. Winners: Arby's, Taco Bell, and Burger King. Losers: Taco John's and people who don't cuss. Slappy is a firm believer in evolution, loves his iPod, and does not like the Republican Party. Slappy also likes double-bass-driven metal (Tool, Lamb of God, etc), funk, classic rock, but also likes classical and pop music.

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