When does something feel complete? Complete enough to move on to the next thing? Maybe it’s my stoner self talking, but chances are that I’ll probably never know the answers to all these questions. So it’s been 7 years, 10 months and 20 days since Tool released their last album ‘10,000 Days’. I guess this is patience, waiting 8 years for a band to release new material. Though they’re still rumored to release an album this year (most likely), but we know how much Tool loves to keep us waiting. Moving away from my weird-ass self (who’s talking no sense right now), I’m going to cover a box set that the band released back in 2000, yup I’m talking about Salival.
So first things first, what’s with the title of the box set? Well, the Tool-word (words that Tool invents like ‘Ænima’) that is the name of this package rhymes with “revival”. Now that you can pronounce it correctly (I wouldn’t tell you how to pronounce ‘Ænima’ though), the rationale behind this was that Tool fans were so famished of new Tool material that this box set came as a savior to revive them, breathe life into their soulless, mud-clay bodies and lift them up.’ Salival’ features seven live tracks, including two covers and a hidden track. The DVD version features all the music videos Tool had made up to that point.
The CD starts with the live performance of their 14 minute epic, eye opening ‘Third Eye’. Opening with Timothy Leary’s famous quote “Think for yourself and question authority”, the song rips into madness and psychedelia as Adam Jones makes his guitar scream as if opening a portal into another realm. This is followed by a really addictive Tool song from their Opiate EP i.e. ‘Part of Me’, which contrary to Vox Populi is not about masturbation, pretty solid track I must say and it has a very deep meaning too.
Reinterpretation is word that has to be kept in mind while listening to any Tool song because what you may think Tool is trying to sing about may just be miles away from what the song actually means. Tool presents an amazing reinterpretation of their previously released song ‘Pushit’ and this time Danny Carey’s tabla teacher Aloke Dutta provides a short tabla solo on this masterpiece. The live version just sheds new light on the song, the lyrics speak about a broken and abusive relationship and somehow finding a way to mend it (I liked the live version so much more it is so chilling and hauntingly true). ‘Pushit’ is followed by a different rendition of ‘Message to Harry Manback II’.
The next track ‘You Lied’ is a cover of a song by bassist Justin Chancellor’s previous band Peach. A really good cover indeed, Maynard takes the song to just another plane and it turns into a different song altogether, there’s even some hint of sludge metal on this track. The next song ‘Merkaba’ (it breaks down to Mer = rotating fields of light, Ka = spirit and Ba = soul/body, all in ancient Egyptian, also in Hebrew it means chariot) focuses on a new method of meditation and though it’s mostly random noises that sound amazing when put together, it is often used as an intro to’Sober’.
Well the next song is the best Led Zeppelin cover I’ve ever come across. Tool take Zepp’s ‘No Quarter’ and turn it into 11 minutes of guilt, fear and empathy filling music that just leaves you feeling so much light and relieved inside while at the same time turn you into a claustrophobic stuck inside an ever-shrinking room. And that ladies and gentlemen, is power, the power that these four great musicians possess to move you, to hurt and wound you and at the same time, nurse you. This great song leads to most possibly the most feared (annoying for some) song that Tool has ever produced, the instrument of torture aptly named’ L.A. Municipal Court’. The song makes you feel a lot angry, annoyed, frenzied, and claustrophobic and all the negative adjectives you can think of. It basically refers to life in Los Angeles and red tape but I guess it can be applied for any city around the globe. Maynard was once quoted as saying that the L.A. Municipal Court is a place that you’d only want to visit once, and the same follows for the song.
The last track on the CD is arguably the greatest hidden track ever, a song about soul searching (/surfing) ‘Maynard’s Dick’. Yes, that is indeed the name of the song and though the title and lyrics refer to someplace else, there’s some speculation that it’s about coming to terms with yourself/ your partner, and the story that it was written by a fan and Tool got so impressed that they decided to record it. Anyway, it has a really amazing 4-chord riff and is really really easy to play on the guitar. I love this song.
So of course I won’t cover the DVD/VHS, it has the amazing videos Tool makes, see them for yourself on YouTube or somewhere.
My most difficult article is yet to come when I cover their critically acclaimed masterpiece ‘Lateralus’.
So till then, stay curious and keep that head banging!!!