Tad

Infrared Riding Hood

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Tad's last fart, 1995's Infrared Riding Hood, improbably saw the Seattle grunge stalwarts scoring their second major label contract, but then failing yet again to seize the opportunity to follow in the platinum workboots of the genre's "big four" (Nirvana, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam). Mind you, it wasn't for lack of trying, since the new material reflected a similar tack as its 1993 predecessor, Inhaler, in attempting to wipe some blood and gristle off the band's vicious sonic template. But while these more pronounced contrasts between light and dark actually did work out on a few cuts (namely "Bullhorn" and "Bludge"), many others (such as "Ictus," "Red Eye Angel," and "Dementia") sounded forced and unconvincing -- as well as disturbingly derivative of Irish alt-metallers Therapy? Another grouping slowed down the tempo with varying results: "Thistle Suit" merely repeated the game but unfulfilling hybridization cited above, while the exceptionally sludgy "Emotional Cockroach" delivered a secondhand Melvins imitation, but the misleadingly named "Weakling" nearly got the balance right. Then Tad really overstayed their welcome by jamming about four songs too many toward the end of Infrared Riding Hood -- an all too typical fallacy of the CD era. And all these efforts were ultimately for naught, since Tad wound up rudely dropped by EastWest and broke up soon after this release, their caustic grunge stylings having proved far too unsavory for the flannel-toting mainstream to stomach.

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