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Ft. Worth Star Telegram review

Fort Worth’s Toadies make welcome comeback with familiar sound

The Toadies, of ‘Possum Kingdom’ fame, are back after a seven-year drought with a kickin’ album that picks up right where they left off
By PRESTON JONES [ original article ]

Rock reunions rooted in the ’90s are de rigueur these days — from Stone Temple Pilots to Extreme — so no time like the present for Cowtown’s own alt-rock export, the Toadies, to re-form and release its first new music in almost a decade.

Not all of the returning rockers are successful, but in most cases, the powerful pull of nostalgia is enough to boost most bands over any bumpy patches. In the case of the Toadies, despite being down one original member (bassist Lisa Umbarger), the Vaden Todd Lewis-led quartet is ripping through its muscular melodies as though hardly any time has passed.

In fact, if you didn’t know any better (or preferred to downplay the Toadies’ internal strife), you’d think band mastermind Lewis simply waited until the time was right for his particular, pummeling brand of rock to mount a comeback.

Sure enough, seven years after the underrated Hell Below/Stars Above, the Fort Worth foursome (with new bassist Doni Blair) returns to the spotlight with No Deliverance, a viciously entertaining slab of sonic brawn.

Produced by David Castell (Blue October; Lewis’ post-Toadies project Burden Brothers), these 10 cuts blend the Toadies’ trademark fusion of raw violence — Lewis’ still-impressive pipes are capable of rocketing on a dime from a sinister whisper to a primal scream — and blunt sexuality without ever feeling strained or stilted. It’s not often that a band can recapture what made it big in the first place, especially without being overtly obvious about it.

No, this disc is loaded with cuts like So Long Lovey Eyes and the slashing, stomping title track that are tailor-made for screaming along with in concert. It’s a deft, punchy collection that does its business briskly — No Deliverance, in stores Tuesday, clocks in at a lightning-quick 38 minutes — and will hopefully restore one of North Texas’ great rock bands to prominence.

“I’m really happy with [No Deliverance], [and] I’m not just saying that; I’m kind of surprised at how good it sounds,” Lewis told the Star-Telegram in June. “We really worked and strove to make it bare-knuckles and in your face.”

The Toadies will play a CD release show Friday at Dallas’ Palladium Ballroom, with support from the Crash That Took Me, Dead Twins and the Riverboat Gamblers. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster. After a brief flurry of Texas shows at the end of the month, the Toadies will decamp roughly 90 miles west of Fort Worth on Aug. 31 for the inaugural Dia de los Toadies at Possum Kingdom Lake (so chosen, one assumes, because of its titular ties to Possum Kingdom, one of the band’s biggest hits) in Graham. Joining the Toadies on Labor Day weekend are Tejas Brothers, Lions, Dove Hunter and the Backsliders. Tickets are available through Front Gate Tickets.

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