Formed in Fort Worth, Texas in 1990, hails the alternative band that goes by the name of The Toadies. The Toadies foursome is; Todd Lewis doing the vocals, Lisa Umbarger playing the bass, the drummer is Mark Reznicek, and last but not least the guitarist Darrell Herbert. But sadly after playing and helped produce this album - Darrell Herbert left the band around the millenium. Being replaced by Clark Vogeler, who is the guitarist in the later-on album "Hell Below Stars Above." Which differs from this album, but not in a better way. Shortly after the make of "Hell Below Stars Above," the band officially split in 2003.
The definition of a toadie is a person who flatters or defers to others for self-serving reasons. Although this has absolutely nothing to do with the album, I can farely say that the first time I listened to Rubberneck I was flattered. The opening track automatically caught my attention with the lyric-less track "Mexican Hairless." Its a song with only the bass, drums and guitars playing in a very catchy tune which elevates up and down. There is a mini-solo in this song when the elevation is low. Its a very tight-knit played track that will surely catch anybodys attention. What I enjoy the most about The Toadies and this album is how Todd Lewises vocals can sometimes sound extinct but mellow and he can also give off some very angry sounding vocals. Both of these examples are showed off in the track "Mister Love." Which is an excellent follow-up track from "Mexican Hairless." They make sure the energy level is always high on most of the tracks when it comes to the guitars and drums. And the bass compliments the guitar very well, in pretty much every track.
There are four out of eleven songs on here that don't give off the same amount of energy as the rest; Away, Tyler, Happyface, and I Burn. This isnt a horrible thing that they are slower songs, its almost a needed break. But slow for The Toadies can probably considered 10 mph when normally they are going 20mph out of 50mph. In those listed tracks they dont lose all their speed and motivation and they are still capable of keeping you on your feet. With the very catchy sound of Darrell on the guitar. It seems like when the song becomes slower, Todds vocals can sometimes become angrier. A good example of Todds angry sounding vocals can be heard in the song Happyface. Where he sings "No, no, no more son-of-a-b*tch. No, no, no, more talking." He sings this well but he would be better off with the almost extinct and very mellow sounding voice. It almost sounds like he is just trying to be too hard to sound angry.
This album sold a half-million copies and with the help of the hit track "Possum Kingdom." This is a great starter song for anybody wanting to get into The Toadies, and is actually the main reason I bought this album. But after listening, this is definitely not the best track that this album can give off. Although it is very catchy, its just the obvious hit single. Compared to the rest of the songs "Possum Kingdom" just doesnt have that raw almost thrashy sound as in "I Come From The Water," "Away," and "Backslider." Rubberneck ends with a slower track that goes by the name of "I Burn." This song is probably their best bet for a ending track so the track selection on Rubberneck is sorted out quite well. The drumming on "I Burn" is probably the catchiest off the whole album. Although throughout the whole cd, the drumming is farely simple and nowhere close to technical, just catchy. I know im using the word catchy alot, but thats just because it is in fact catchy. I pretty much like all the songs off of Rubberneck, sad but true this CD can get old rather quick.
Pros: Catchy, bass compliments guitars well, occasional short and distinct solo, tight-knit, play-list sorted out well, gives off plenty of energy, occasional slower songs.
Cons: Tends to get old quick, Todd Lewis's vocals can get stale, drumming is simple, could use more tracks, lyrics are simple.
This is a great CD for anybody wanting a Toadies experience, and wanting to try to get into The Toadies.