By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
It's probably not a coincidence that there's nothing new to say about Tool. After all, it's been a while since the band had anything new to add to the world. (Well, presuming they ever had anything new to add to the world.)
Whether it's their cookie-cutter riffs, their interchangeable drum patterns or their vapid lyrics ("Who are you to wave your finger?/So full of it/Eyeballs deep in muddy waters/Fuckin' hypocrite"), Tool doesn't bring a lot to the table. Mercifully, the band typically averages about four years between high-concept/low-creativity albums, giving the world a nice respite from their inane antics. Of course, that's no way to make money, so these purveyors of Clear Channel rock spend the remainder of their time making wine or staging tours that somehow con meatheads into giving up their $50 in roofie money in exchange for seats in the back of an arena.
But, oh, what a show you get—provided you're into videos of decomposing plant matter or claymation prison rape scenes that look like something from Tim Burton's cutting-room floor. It's all there for a reason: Frontman Maynard James Keenan insists on a stage setting that directs the audience's eyes away from him because "he needs a bit of personal space, and he feels more comfortable in the shadows." Riiiight. Sounds an awful lot like Charlie performing "Day Man" in It's Always Sunny, but it promises to be far less entertaining.
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