Local band hell
It's been nearly four years since the Toadies released their major-label debut, Rubberneck, and in that time the band and its label have done little to capitalize on the huge success of "Possum Kingdom," a song so unstoppable it still receives almost hourly radio play. Although we've been spared the quickie live album or hurried follow-up, there have been numerous soundtrack and compilation appearances, most of them featuring half-hearted covers or Rubberneck leftovers recommended for completists only. However, one does stand out: the band's take on Thin Lizzy's "The Cowboy Song" (from the Come on Feel the Metal comp). The song features the first recorded appearance as a Toadie of new guitarist Clark Vogeler (ex-Funland). The song isn't that great, but Vogeler's melodic guitar work bodes well for the future--specifically the band's forthcoming album, due out early next year.
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The band rubberbullet has always had the potential to be great, particularly since it includes the likes of Earl Harvin--one of the best drummers ever to grace a Deep Ellum stage. But somehow, greatness has always eluded the group, damned by lackluster songwriting and meandering arrangements. There are times, however, when the band's potential becomes a reality, leaving a fleeting glimpse of what could be. Those brief moments are what makes rubberbullet sometimes captivating, and always frustrating.
Slow Roosevelt (pictured) is probably the least interesting band on this bill. Sticking to the One Ton Records sound--and improving on it slightly--the band, led by Peter Thomas' distorted vocals and Scott Minyard's chunky, Helmet-like guitar sounds, isn't bad, just a bit boring. Starving St. Nick, the band's 1996 album, was basically an experiment to see how many songs could be written around the same guitar riff (answer: 11). At its best, Slow Roosevelt sounds like the Toadies doing a Metallica cover. At its worst, it sounds like Metallica doing a Toadies cover. There actually is a difference.
Toadies, rubberbullet, and Slow Roosevelt perform at the Bronco Bowl Saturday, November 29.