Today is a big day for Tool fans as the group’s entire back catalog has been released overnight on various digital streaming platforms. Here are the links to direct you for each individual album: 10,000 Days, Lateralus, Ænima, Undertow, Opiate.
Maynard James Keenan commented:
“Our obsession with, and dream of, a world where BetaMax and Laser Disc rule has ended. Time for us to move on. But never fear. There’s a brand new thing we think you’re really gonna dig. It’s called Digital Downloads and Streaming. Get ready for the future, folks!”
Tool’s first album in thirteen years, Fear Inoculum (RCA Records), will finally arrive on August 30th. Therefore, fans and possibly new fans have twenty-eight days to listen to the group’s music. While this weekend is most likely busy listening to another set of New & Noteworthy albums, we decided to have a headbangers’ brawl to share a few recommendations of our favorite Tool songs.
Zenae Zukowski: I was obsessed with Tool back in the day. When I saw Tool’s music appear on Spotify, I was instantly drawn to it like an insect gravitating towards a light source. For some reason, it felt like I entered a time warp because I used to listen to Undertow, Ænima, and Lateralus on a regular basis. Hell, I remember using “Schism” for a video project. Anyway, a lot of memories have emerged since late last night. Aside from their videos, which everyone should watch, here are the Tool songs I highly recommend everyone to stream right now:
“Hooker With a Penis”
“Die Eier von Satan” (The Eggs of Satan)
Jeff Podoshen: Favorite Tool tracks to stream? None. This band was boring back in the day and they’re even more boring now. We can save a lot of money on prescription drugs in this country by having doctors prescribe Lateralus in place of Ambien for sleep problems.
Mark Zapata: There was a small part of my metal history that included Tool. But only a small part. I find Tool repetitive, and for me the music just doesn’t hold up. There was that gross video that I remember. That’s about it. Meat.
Matt Brown: I love Tool. When I was younger, I only knew them for that logo with the wrench shaped like a dick. Then my best friend gave me 10,000 Days to listen to when it first came out and I loved it. Seeing them live a year later only got me into them more. For a long time, my excitement for a new album was mentally shelved right next to waiting for the next A Song of Ice and Fire book. Now it’s hard to believe not only that a new album is finally coming (this month?!) but that the band’s discography has finally made its way online.
I recommend streaming the album 10,000 Days in full. I think it’s great for newcomers and it’s a solid album to listen to for productivity. I spent many nights/mornings in college banging out essays to this album, which has just the right mix of low-key atmospheric tracks as well as the upbeat bangers you’d expect. Favorite track is a tie between “Jambi” and “The Pot.”
Zenae Zukowski: Matt, I think you convinced me to give 10,000 Days another spin. For some reason, that record never clicked with me. Funny thing about that “wrench.” I purchased the Tool hoodie with the Wrench logo in the back after their show at Radio City Music Hall back in 2002? (still have the hoodie!). I used to wear it all the time and I remember kids used to point and laugh at me saying, “haha, she has a penis on the back of her hoodie.”
Bram Teitelman: I find it fascinating that a semi-current multi-platinum rock/metal/what-have-you band is just getting around to releasing their catalogue on streaming services. Tool is one of the last holdouts, which means that there’s an entire generation (at least) that have gone their whole lives without listening to an entire Tool album. It’ll be interesting to see if there are people that have never heard the band, or at least are unfamiliar with them beyond “Sober” and “Schism,” that do a deep dive into the band’s discography and come out on the other side as big fans. Given what the band put into their releases, it’s no surprise. Be it hidden artwork (take out the tray on your Undertow CD if you haven’t yet), a lenticular case (Aenima), a medical journal/science diagram courtesy of Alex Gray (Lateralus), or stereoscopic eyeglasses (10,000 Days), the band’s physical releases have always made a compelling argument to buy their product. And the art rockers that they are, they’ve probably long fought the idea of having their albums chopped up into disposable pieces.
Should you stream Tool? Absolutely! You don’t have to consume a whole album these days, although many Tool fans probably will continue to do so. For me, my obsession with Tool peaked with the release of Aenima. That’s a near-flawless album as far as I’m concerned, and while I like the subsequent releases, they got a little too tabla-heavy and lacked the hookiness of their first two full-lengths. They’re still one of the best live bands you’ll see, and in just 28 days, we’ll have a new record to dive into. So what’s a good primer? Here you go:
“Forty Six & Two”
Zenae Zukowski: I have to add, it didn’t occur to me until last night that there are people out there who has never heard of Tool. And if you think about it, it’s been thirteen years since 10,000 Days and within that time frame, there hasn’t been that many ways for the younger generation to listen to them. I think this sudden stream was a smart move and it gives people the chance to hear Tool’s catalog and decide for themselves if they want to keep the band in their collection or not.
Chris Annunziata: It’s crazy to me that people never heard of Tool. If you like metal or heavy music, you should know about Tool. I really got into Tool during the Guitar Hero/Rock Band period. My friends and I would try to master “Parabola,” “Schism” and “Vicarious.” So many weekends wasted…