Home Read Classic Album Review: Toadies | Hell Below / Stars Above

Classic Album Review: Toadies | Hell Below / Stars Above

The Texas post-grungers stay the course on their long-overdue sophomore set.

This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Talk about taking your sweet time. Long-running Ft. Worth post-grunge outfit Toadies’ last album — also their first album — was 1994’s Rubbernecker, which featured the hit Possum Kingdom. Since then, it seems the foursome have been playing possum.

But now, seven years later (and more than a decade after they formed), Toadies have a second album that makes you wonder if these guys even know what year it is. Hell Below / Stars Above is a brainy, brawny throwback to the glory days of guitar-driven grunge, pop and alt-rock, with a dozen high-velocity crunch-fests that sound for all the world like Cheap Trick and Pixies duking it out for best band in the land. There’s not a beatbox, a hip-hop influence or a detuned guitar riff in earshot. Truly, they don’t write ’em like this anymore — and probably won’t again until Toadies put out their third album in, oh, 2008 or so.