Of course, it’s obviously going to be “epic” in a certain sense, given that it’s Tool — eight-minute, operatic metal songs, probably taking themselves a bit too seriously for hipster standards, but then, who’s really a hipster, when you get down to it? I wanna hear some noise.
Unlike Nine Inch Nails, which seems to just entail Trent Reznor, and then whatever interchangeable session musicians he seems to want to sub in for the next group of organized sound-burps, Tool to this day is apparently the “Lateralus crew,” per the Rolling Stone article from March. Indeed it is guitarist Adam Jones who’s interviewed for that article, and he is the Tool guitarist of the ’90’s as well. That’s a Barry Larkin-like team integrity right there!
Short of delving too far into homosexuality, because I still truly believe that rock and rollers are rock and rollers, regardless of gender, it is interesting to note the personnel stability of bands like R.E.M. and Tool, which have gay or bi lead singers. It’s something that can’t be explained logically, why this combination seems to work so well (even R.E.M.’s final album Collapse into Now had some really good songs on it: “Uberlin”, “Every Day is Yours to Win”, “Walk it Back”), but then music isn’t logical, it’s a controlled explosion, that’s barely even controlled at all (not at all, in the case of Metal Machine Music). And in Tool’s case, emphasis is on the “explosion.” I was a fan of Undertow, I was a fan of Aenima, I was a fan of Lateralus, I was a fan of 10,000 Days and if I were a bettin’ man I’d venture that I’ll be a fan of this new project.
In the meantime, we have James Maynard-Keenan’s fantastic parodistic offshoot: Puscifer, boasting the heartwarming album “V is for Vagina.” Think Melvins, but hazed out on opiates and a little more bluesy, and true to form, making fun of straight people, or “breeders” as Keenan would say (“Show you the difference ‘tween my gun and my pistol” on “DoZo”.