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Tool (live)

Brixton Academy, London 13 May 2002

Quick question. Have you ever done, like, TONS of acid, read the entire works of HP Lovecraft AND watched Audition, all in one night? No? Well, whoever sorts out Tool‘s visuals certainly has. So we don’t have to. Let’s just say “thanks” now, shall we? But of the visuals, more later.

Tool. A band I’d avoided for years, cos I thought they’d be shit, despite having had a picture of Bill Hicks as album artwork. I dunno – I think it was their audience that put me off – the big shorts thing never really worked for me. Then came Lateralus. Which was big. AND clever. So I had to check out the back catalogue, really. Which led to me being in Brixton, off my fucking face, surrounded by very tall children in very big shorts, watching a fucking amazing live band.

When they

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Tool – Lateralus

Label: BMG/Volcano Format: CD, limited CD,MC

Lateralus - detail of one page of the sleeveTool. Hmm. Can we forgive them? I mean, like, ever? After all, as the instigators of nu-metal, they are largely responsible for Limp Bizkit and Slipknot, all that big-shorted, high testosterone sports metal malarkey. Only there’s nothing remotely “sports” about Tool — no, they’re resolutely “old metal” imagewise – you know, namechecking Crowley, decorating their sleeves with mystical paraphernalia, and generally getting all apocalyptic on yo` ass.

And indeed, they’ve got doomier. Last album, Aenima, a patchy though often brilliant Industrial Metal nightmare, had a sleeve decked with poo jokes and, commendably, a lovely painting of Bill Hicks. This time, jokes are to a minimum, and there’s none of the petulance that sometimes dragged Aenima down to a level of just being something that rocked. In fact, now Tool are

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