TAD
Infrared Riding Hood


2.5
average

Review

by MassiveAttack USER (91 Reviews)
May 2nd, 2009 | 21 replies


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist

Review Summary: In a last ditch effort TAD decide to scrap their raw style for pop-oriented chorus-driven songs and nearly lose their entire fanbase.

Despite what we may think grunge is, it's what was only offered to us in the mainstream by the so-called “saviors of rock” Nirvana that was generally accepted as such. TAD was what had been brewing in the Seattle underground scene for years. A common bond with all of these bands, mainstream (in their future) or not is their lack of production. Nirvana’s Bleach was raw with an overall garage sound. Much of this can be attributed to the label. Sub Pop was the label that single-handily brought these bands to our ears before they were all over MTV. Whatever the occurrence that would pull bands like Soundgarden and Nirvana into superstardom and garnered attention from mega labels such as Geffen can be thankfully agreed upon from the glam-rock scene of the late 80’s.

Sub Pop is an interesting label; before they branched towards the Warner Company in ’96 they were extremely independent and local. Regardless of their personal management and what some may claim as “selling out”, Sub Pop has had an amazing track record of unknown and legendary acts: Nirvana, L7, Soundgarden, Love Battery, Sonic Youth, Butthole Surfers, TAD, Dinosaur Jr., the list goes on, not only for past acts, but for recent artists as well. This is why I bring up Sub Pop, for all of the success they had and have presently do (in some extent) they are only thankful for that success from early pioneering bands that brought the “Seattle sound” that we all know and love. Equally so can those bands be thankful for the independent label. TAD was one of the first bands that would sign on to this unknown label right at the beginning of their incarnation in 1986. Soon after they would release a single in ’87 titled “Daisy/Ritual Device”. 2 years after they would release their debut album “God’s Balls”, their heavy sound and raw production by the legendary Sub Pop producer Jack Endino can be heard in similarity with Nirvana’s ‘Bleach’. TAD’s debut would show the promise that would lure big labels knocking on their door like their counterparts. Soon after releasing 2 more LPs in 1990 and 1991 they were scooped up by Giant Records. They would drop one of the greatest and heavy grunge albums of all-time: ‘Inhaler’. Despite the positive outside response and opening for Soundgarden on their ‘Superunknown’ tour TAD would still be left outside looking in. Their release from Giant Records opened up Elektra to sign them where they would release what would be their final album “Infrared Riding Hood” in 1995.

Following up on such a fantastic album can be daunting. TAD’s ‘Inhaler’ was everything that Seattle embodied: dirty, raw, sludgy fuzz guitar with fantastic screeching vocals a la Cobain’s “Tourretes” (granted not as extreme). Following the loss of Nirvana in 1994 the disinterest in Grunge music started to wane and the release of this album seemed far-fetched to assume any type of success. So ‘Infrared Riding Hood’ seemed to be a last ditch attempt at any success by the band. The main problem TAD incorporates on ‘Infrared Riding Hood’ is characteristics of the clean somewhat pop-oriented vocals that were non-existent in previous releases. The grunge sound is still there – the guitar still fuzzes with strength and the drums still pound with rawness, yet the feeling of Tad Doyle’s voice echoing through the tracks so cleanly and even choruses to boot is just wrong. Jack Endino comes back to produce TAD’s last album, but unlike ‘God’s Balls’ this seems way to clean. The whole rawness that TAD embodied in previous albums is all gone. Every track boasts loud vocals and thumping repetitive drum breaks that lose interest with every cycle. “Thistle Suit” can be looked at as an example: the guitar isn’t as nearly driven on this song as it should be, even when it has its time to shine its all, but forgotten. Instead of a grunge sound-driven TAD that we all loved it is replaced by an entirely different approach of vocal driven verses. The screeches of Tad Doyle’s past are nearly cleaned off this entire album. Instead of expecting a follow-up to a grunge classic ‘Inhaler’ I’m succumbed to listen to this pile of mediocre *** disappointment.



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user ratings (40)
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
MassiveAttack
May 3rd 2009


2754 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Most of this reviewis history since most people don't listen to TAD, I really disliked this album. The entire dynamic is almost put to rest from their past albums. Really disappointing.



This Message Edited On 05.03.09This Message Edited On 05.03.09

DaveyBoy
Emeritus
May 3rd 2009


22489 Comments


Not bad Modric. The review seems a litle off-balance between general historical info and info about the actual album. However, you still get your point across I guess. There's also a couple of awkward sentences... Starting with the summary. I'd get rid of the word 'vocal' and have it as "pop-oriented chorus-driven songs".


This Message Edited On 05.03.09

MassiveAttack
May 3rd 2009


2754 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

alright broooo I know it is a bit off-balanced, its just there isn't anything else to say. It was their last album and they almost scrap their style.



Yo, Davey you think I should add more to this? If so speak up Neill.



This Message Edited On 05.03.09This Message Edited On 05.03.09

AliW1993
May 3rd 2009


7511 Comments


Yeah its a bit disjointed, but I found it useful as it told me a lot I didnt know about a band Im curious about. Is Gods Balls the best starting point?

AliW1993
May 3rd 2009


7511 Comments


Double post

This Message Edited On 05.03.09

Metalstyles
Emeritus
May 3rd 2009


8574 Comments


good review Marko, it's nice you granted my wish and made a review about this haha. davey is right thiugh, some sentences are a bit awkward to read, but all in all it is a very informative review.

So it seems that this is quite bad/mediocre, but you make it seem that God's Balls is pretty good so I might give that one a go.

MassiveAttack
May 3rd 2009


2754 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

If you want their best 'Inhaler' is where it is at. Their last album is nothing like their discography. God's Balls is really raw and the production is flawed. I really liked it. It is a good starting point, but 'Inhaler' remains one of the best grunge albums so if you want their best go for that, if you want a good starting point their debut is where I'd recommend starting.

Metalstyles
Emeritus
May 3rd 2009


8574 Comments


I think that I shall start with the raw God's Balls.

RoshanC
May 3rd 2009


219 Comments


Gods Balls is great and Wood Goblins kicks so much arse.
This makes me sad
Cant believe i missed Tadgarden

MassiveAttack
May 3rd 2009


2754 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Davey did you get my Aussie reference!?

greg84
Emeritus
May 3rd 2009


7612 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"The main problem TAD incorporates on ‘Infrared Riding Hood’ is characteristics of the clean somewhat pop-oriented vocals that were non-existent in previous releases."



Well. This is simply not true. Clean vocals are present practically on every record they put in and they are the trademark of the band. However, you're right that this cd is different, more melody-oriented. I like it because the songwriting is really good and the tunes are often very addictive. I also think Inhaler is their best, but this one also makes for a great listen.



If you're more into the heavy side of Tad, you should check Hog Molly, Tad Doyle's crazy project from the beginning of this decade. This is an awesome mix of punk and hardcore!

Digging: Lionize - Panic Attack!

MassiveAttack
May 4th 2009


2754 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yea, I understand where you're coming from if this was a album without the discography of Tad's earlier work then I might be inclined to rate it a 3 or 3.5. Instead it just feels so commercial and just wrong. Yea I've heard of Hog Molly. But towards that point you stated about their clean vocals. I'm saying that its not near as noteworthy compared to other albums. Previous albums they were scattered throughout, but this takes the chorus and somewhat catchy nuance throughout the album, unlike their previous albums. You think I conveyed the problems enough on my side of the argument? Any criticism would be positive.

xequalscore
May 4th 2009


437 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I see your point about them going with a more pop oriented approach but, I still like this album. Inhaler is definitely better though.

Flue
December 17th 2009


1 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I think that this was a great album, they decided to experiment with something different, which is what all good bands do. Not to compare the two bands, but Nirvana did the exact same thing releasing "In Utero". They were testing their fan base. But TAD was a great band no matter what. This album is pretty diverse: It has catchy melody's, a lot of heavy material, and even some industrial sounds (Emotional Cockroach). Even though in retrospect Inhaler was the better album, this one is awesome.

random
August 22nd 2010


2795 Comments


I listened to Ictus by this band and it was dope.

Digging: Nile - Black Seeds of Vengeance

JaySPNJ
August 14th 2012


69 Comments


Dementia is a excellent song

jayt851
March 1st 2013


375 Comments


Dementia is the best song by this band the rest are nothing special

Digging: Steve Vai - Fire Garden

grungeyspongey
January 22nd 2016


1 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

InfaRed RidingHood, the last release by Tad, an album seen as a step forward by a few and a step backwards by most, I am actually a big fan of this album, though not as punch in the face as intense as Inhaler or as raw as God's Balls, Infared Ridinghood has more in common with 8 way Santa with its pop sensibilities, this album has a satisfying slow hypnotic metallic grinding to it that grows on you after a few listens, its definitely not a strike out for Tad, they were content to go out with a slow chugging death march than false insincere intensity

Pho3nix
March 25th 2018


741 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I actually kinda liked this, despite all the negative reviews.



Cool album cover as well

StonedManatee
March 14th 2019


194 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I didn't think the album sounded poppy? Maybe a little repetitive, in a similar vein as Inhaler (minus the meh second side of this album), but it is a decent listen. I recommend listening to Melvins and Therapy? for a similar sound.



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