As Blair hinted at in the January 2017 newsletter, he has also updated the one from September 2016. For those with short memories, September 2016 was the infamous “positive thinking” one. Blair mentions recent interviews with Justin, Danny’s appearance on the Seth Meyers show and even Adam at recent VIP outings as good evidence that the next Tool album is indeed a thing.
I doubt this is changing anyone’s mind though – I don’t expect that any of the skeptics are going to change their mind. I for one am content to wait for whatever may come. I’m obviously a huge Tool fan, but life is not so empty that a lack of Tool albums becomes an object of scorn or hate.
Instead I look forward to seeing Puscifer here in Adelaide in a couple of nights time (there’s even a free wine tasting in town before hand). I’ll continue to enjoy the large number of quality releases from other artists. Code Orange may have already released an album I might have on my top 10 of 2017 (we’ll see in 12 months time I guess!)
The Tool 2017 Newsletter for January is out, and it doesn’t say much except to confirm a few things we already know. There is some vague promise of further news to come, but anyone’s guess as to what this is.
Here it is:
I especially don’t like to waste water here in the desert, but allow me to pour a tall cold glass of it over the on-line rumors that DANNY (“the mysterious buyer”) recently purchased a new house with vineyards so that he could become a wine-maker. The TRUTH is that he bought a house that just happened to come with a MICRO-VINEYARD. Therefore, DON’T expect him to be releasing bottles of “MONAS HIEROGLYPHICA” anytime soon. Instead, he will be working on new Tool material at the loft, and performing on February 4th with VOLTO! at… (No)… THE WHISKEY on the Sunset Strip. In other news, for those of you who only read the ‘newsletters’, TOOL will be playing a couple of festivals in MAY – one being “THE GOVERNOR’S BALL in NYC, with the other being “BOSTON CALLING.” In anticipation of your next question, these are the only Tool shows that I am currently aware of. I have also listed in the NEWS POSTS a number of APC shows in May. Now, in case you’re wondering why the January 17th newsletter is so short (or celebrating the fact), until I get a better grasp on certain things that have happened to me recently, this will have to do. In the meantime, look for an UPDATE explaining this in the archived SEPTEMBER 2016 newsletter on January 20th. Hopefully, that is…
For any Australian (and New Zealand) Puscifer fans who haven’t been paying attention, Puscifer hit our shores next week for a series of shows across the country (except WA!).
As well as the show at MOFO in Hobart, Puscifer play in Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane and Auckland. Get your tickets if you haven’t already – it looks like we’ll be getting the full Puscifer experience with the tour being the same as the one that went across the US.
Promoter Destroy All Lines have a competition going where you can win a bunch of signed stuff including a post, Maynard’s book and a shirt by Liking and Sharing stuff on Facebook. Check it out! More details here!
I’ll be at the Adelaide show – if anyone else is going let me know!
You guys have had your turn at selecting a top 10, and after much procrastination it’s time for me to reveal mine. Over the weekend I might also add the best of the rest – a list of albums that gather lots of votes, but not quite enough for the top 10 or I think you may have missed in general.
I present this list from 1 to 10 in some order of preference. My opinion on albums changes sometimes on a daily basis, and while it’s safe to assume I like album #1 more than #10, there are others that have a position that may be somewhat interchangeable.
Gojira – Magma
To many the latest Gojira album was a bit of a step down from their earlier work. While I don’t necessarily disagree with that statement, I feel like this is a really strong album, which is a testament to how fucking great some of their earlier work is! With some great and unique sounding tracks – no one writes riffs or sounds quite like Gojira.
Every Time I Die – Low Teens
“Metalcore, urghhh” – I hear some of you moan! It’s true that some if it is quite shit, but Every Time I Die are one of the best examples of the genre. It’s got some great songwriting, relentless energy and just fucking rocks. Get behind it!
Red Fang – Only Ghosts
Only Ghosts was released during a period this year stuffed with albums. It seemed like months passed with not much being released, and then BAM! a bunch of great bands all released albums in a short period of time. One of these was Red Fang‘s album, which I actually think is one of their best and more mature works. Surprisingly it get very few votes in the readers top 10!
A Tribe Called Quest – We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service
A long time between albums for these guys, and We got it from Here was well worth the wait! It’s got plenty of great rhymes, excellent sampling and beats and is accompanies by a range of interesting guests.
Meshuggah – The Violent Sleep of Reason
Meshuggah threw away the amp modelling software for this album, and to me have come back with one of their more organic and compelling releasing since Nothing. While not pushing the limits of their songwriting chops on this album, I found this album to be more cohesive and consistent that their somewhat more diverse last two releases.
Sex Prisoner – Tannhauser Gate
It wouldn’t be a top 10 of mine without at least on grindcore or power violence album, and Sex Prisoner‘s Tannhauser Gate is the best of 2016. 20 minutes of grindy bliss!
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree
I’m more of a fan of Nick Cave‘s more energetic work (think Grinderman and 90s Bad Seeds) however this album while mellow, is heavily laden with enough emotion that I found it an enticing listen.
Iggy Pop – Post Pop Depression
When I first heard this album, it was a bit “meh, this is ok” and didn’t really expect it to come close to making my top 10. Much like the last Queens of the Stone Age album (which is relevant as the album is co-written by Josh Homme) it’s a grower, with most tracks offering something for the attentive listener. I think the final track Paraguay would be close to my favorite track of 2016.
Wrong – Wrong
I’m a really big fan of early Helmet, and clearly Wrong are as well. In fact several of the tracks on this album sound like borderline plagiarism based on their similarity to tracks from the seminal Strap It On and Meantime albums. But fuck it – I really enjoyed their tribute of sorts, and is a great listen unlike most recent Helmet albums (though to be fair I enjoyed Dead to the World)
Meek Is Murder – Was
Meek Is Murder are a relatively recent addition to my library. I was impression with the brand of hardcore on their last EP, and their latest album Was is just as good. The album is full of energy, great riffs and is done in about 20 minutes. As all good (non-Tool) albums should be!
The votes have been counted for the Fourtheye Readers Top 10 albums of 2016, and without further ado I present you the list!
1. Deftones – Gore
The Deftones are a firm favorite with Tool fans and typically perform very well in Fourtheye polls. This time around they have claimed the number 1 spot with the excellent Gore. Probably one of their more mellow releases, this album gives us a diverse range of sounds from these nu-metal stalwarts.
2. Gojira – Magma
Interesting to see French Metal band Gojira at number 2. Speaking anecdotally with fans suggested this album was a little disappointing, though it appears to have made the top 10 list of many readers none the less – a testament to their increasing popularity, or possibly a sign that 2016 was a weak one for records?
3 Meshuggah – The Violent Sleep of Reason
Meshuggah are another favorite of Tool fans and it’s no real surprise to see them in this years top 10. In fact I think The Violent Sleep of Reason is one of their best since Nothing.
4 Russian Circles – Guidance
Instrumental Rock is pretty popular with Tool fans, and former touring buddies Russian Circles are at the top of their game. While I didn’t think Guidance was quite up to the standard of Memorial, it was still a very solid and atmospheric record.
5. Opeth – Sorceress
Swedish Prog Rock outfit Opeth have put out another 70s themed album along the lines of their last one, and it seems to be pretty well received by Fourtheye readers. I guess the lack of death growls isn’t a big deal after all?
6. David Bowie – Blackstar
Released days before David Bowie passed away, his strong musical legacy was left intact by a powerful final album.
7. The Swans – The Glowing Man
I can’t say I was a fan of this album, but the Swans remain and popular choice among Fourtheye readers.
8. Cult of Luna & Julia Christmas – Mariner
I actually haven’t listened to this album yet, so it was a bit of a surprise to me that it made the top 10. I like Cult of Luna so really should have a listen, especially since many of you hold it in high esteem!
9. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
The highly anticipated new album from Radiohead came out early in 2016, and seemed to get some mixed reviews. Despite that, it easily made the top 10 which shows how much Tool fans enjoy their music.
10. Dillinger Escape Plan – Dissociation
Dillinger Escape Plan announced their latest album Dissociation earlier this year, and also announced that the band would be calling it quits (though some think it might be a hiatus).
So there we have it – maybe not a whole load of surprises in that top 10, but they are a range of excellent albums. Stay tuned as over the next couple of days I’ll post my top 10!
Turns out the rumours of Tool headlining the Governors Ball in New York were correct with the line up confirmed this week. Overall it’s an interesting lineup full of acts you wouldn’t typically expect Tool fans to show a lot of interest in. Despite that, I expect it’d be fun day.
Tickets are already on sale, and it appears only 3-day tickets are a thing for now (which I expect isn’t going down well with everyone).
No word yet on any other Tool shows, but the rumour mill seems to suggest there might be, I haven’t heard much personally though (possibly since I’ve been offline for the last 10 days).
Just in time for Xmas is Blair‘s December 2016 Tool Newsletter (you can find it in the newsletters section on Toolband). It takes a Q&A format this time around, and doesn’t contain any info that typical Blair detractors need to know – save yourself the effort this Xmas Day (or Boxing Day if you’re an Aussie like me)!
If you are interested in Blair’s writings, then it contains some of the Santa Code that he talked about at previous Xmas’. He also speaks about the curveball, and gives the following analogy:
Q: “Curveball, curveball, what ball, where is the ball?”
All I can say is that I am standing in the batter’s box kicking at the dirt near home plate. I’ve got my helmet adjusted and have tightened my gloves. I’m wearing both shin and elbow guards, and there’s lots of pine tar on my piece of lumber. Although the pitcher can reache speeds in the 90s, I’m still looking for that wicked curve…
So more of the same in that regard then. I suspect one day Tool will eventually tell Blair “ok, you can tell people about xxxx now” and we’ll get it. Until then the wait continues with no clearer picture of when it’ll actually arrive.
According to Consequence of Sound, Tool will be headlining the Governors Ball Music Festival in NYC June 2017. I believe there was some expectation this would be A Perfect Circle playing, but they now seem pretty sure it’ll be Tool.
The organisers of the festival have refused to comment saying “The full Governors Ball lineup will be announced early next year, at which point tickets will also go on sale.” so keep this show firmly in the rumours category for now.
Here’s Bjork playing a set at the festival a couple of years back: