Just in case your name is Patrick and you’re living under a rock in Bikini Bottom, you may have missed the biggest music announcement of the year. TOOL’s discography is now available on all streaming platforms and digital store fronts! And to top it off, a new album is coming this year! This is beyond exciting!
Now this did not just happen, but I held out for this blog post to celebrate. Friday, August 2nd, is the date that this happened, and from now on will forever be known as TOOLday. TOOL have been digital holdouts for years – famously stating that they prefer the album format, and believe that that is the way their music is to be consumed. TOOL doesn’t even agree with a “Best of” or “Greatest Hits” type album, as they don’t want their “artistry being consumed in random pieces”.
But now it has happened. TOOL are here, and being at the front of the world allowed me a unique perspective of watching the world react in excitement. Immediately, all TOOL albums entered the Top 10 on iTunes and Apple Music. After a few more hours, all albums were vying for the number 1 spot. The excitement on Twitter was palatable. You could really feel it as it swept the metal and alternative communities around the world.
For myself, I loaded up Ænema – track 13 from 1996’s album of the same name – straight away. This being my ultimate favourite TOOL song. Mainly as an anti-Hollywood/entertainment industry anthem first and then musically intense second. I must have played this song about 20 times over the course of the weekend alone. To the point that I think poor Simone is well and truly over it.
My love of TOOL is borne from my days frequenting the local rock club. My friend – Sleefs – was a major fan, and his excitement when ever a TOOL song came on was infectious. He’d call me and his other friends to the dance floor where we would bang our heads and try not to spill our beer. In those early days, TOOL were a bit too prog-rock for me, so I tolerated them more than anything. It wasn’t until I actually sat down to listen to one of their album that I started to see the appeal. TOOL is a band that demands an active listener. Its not background music. Listening to TOOL is like reading a good book – you may look like you aren’t doing much, but you’re actively engaged.
And the more you invest into the listening experience – maybe some good headphones, and a lack of distractions or things to do – the more the band rewards you. You feel uncomfortable, and you can’t explain why. The music of TOOL has a way of burrowing under your skin from your ears, and it unsettles you. I suppose that is was progressive music is supposed to do. And TOOL deliver.
I will be listening to a lot more TOOL from now on. And now that they are finally on streaming media, a few Sort-Of Music Reviews will be incoming, I am sure.
For now, enjoy the fact that finally, eventually, TOOL are available on your Apple Music or Spotify subscription. Start off with 1993’s Undertow, and be taken on a journey. By the end of this month, we’ll have a new album from TOOL, their first new music in 13 years. If the world was this excited to get a hold of their old music, I can’t wait to feel the digital excitement over new music.
Welcome to the modern age, TOOL. You kept us waiting, but by gosh, are we glad you’re here!