Seattle’s Tad, which storms its way to Outback Jack’s on Tuesday, has been stymied by an abundance of industry woes during the last four years.
From unscrupulous record labels to lineup changes to lawsuits, the eight-year-old grunge pioneer’s career seems to have been jinxed. (Ironically, the band penned a song called “Jinx” in 1991.)
But undaunted by setbacks, the heavily influential Seattle unit has been cutting its best, most driven work in years, “Infrared Riding Hood.”
The record finds Tad not only on a new label, Elektra (its fourth in two years), but also back in the studio with long-time Seattle producer Jack Endino, who brought out the gritty sludge in numerous Seattle bands, from Nirvana to Seven Year Bitch.
Further, “Infrared Ridinghood” is Tad’s first release recorded without original guitarist Gary Thorstensen, who departed because of artistic differences. In addition, the album is the first featuring the mighty behemoth of punk, metal and grunge as a trio with Tad Doyle playing both rhythm and lead guitar.
“It was a big challenge this time,” said Doyle of the experience, during a recent phone interview. “But once I wrestled the beast to the ground, he was pretty easy to hog tie.
“I think this new one is the most definitive Tad to date,” he continued. “I think it’s the best representation of what we sound like live and what we sound like now.”
Though the massive front man has lost considerable weight, Doyle still manages to muscle his beastly girth on the album, which includes 12 musical tremors characterized by gruff vocals and pulverizing riffs.
Tad will push the album during a three-month tour. Appearances will include the Reading Festival, an annual gathering in England of the most crucial bands on the planet.
Doyle hopes other media will support Tad’s efforts.
“One thing that would help is if MTV would play our videos,” he said. “But for some reason, they don’t.”
According to the singer/guitarist, the video music network refused to air the band’s last video, “Leafy Incline,” a song that had all the elements of a hit single, because it featured the singer surfing atop a car racing down the highway. MTV feared others might try to imitate the stunt.
Accompanying Tad on its U.S. tour is the four-year-old, hard-driving Clutch.
Clutch’s self-titled sophomore album is a worthwhile exploration into ‘70s-style riff rock.
Tuesday’s musical slugfest begins at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $8 and are available through G&B; outlets. You must be at least 21 to attend.