Album Review

Toadies, ‘Feeler’

By Scott McLennan
Globe Correspondent / August 9, 2010

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The Toadies’ “Feeler’’ is finally seeing proper release 13 years after being shelved by the band’s old record label and floating around the Internet in bootleg form. It’s inexplicable why these songs were deemed weak follow-ups to the Toadies’ stellar 1994 debut, as the “Feeler’’ tunes — re-recorded with the band’s current lineup — exude the sinister tension of the breakout hits while also branching out into other sonic turf, like its sparser rumination of “Pink.’’ Perhaps the ubiquity of grunge anthem “Possum Kingdom’’ obscured the broader quality of the band behind it, leaving “Feeler’’ to suggest that the Toadies had the goods all along to grow beyond that moment. True to form, singer Vaden Todd Lewis on “Feeler’’ sounds slightly unhinged as he guides his listeners along twisted paths to points of simmering discomfort. Clocking in at little more than 28 minutes, “Feeler’’ is more EP than LP, but the quality compensates for the quantity. “Dead Boy’’ is a bit of punk thrash and “Suck Magic’’ is a coiled vitriol distinctly different from the creepiness of the “Possum’’-esque “Trust Game.’’ “City of Hate’’ is cutting commentary indicative of the Toadies’ smarts. (Out tomorrow)

Toadies play the Paradise Sept. 14

Toadies, ‘Feeler’
Kirtland Records
ESSENTIAL “City of Hate’’