"There's a certain uneasiness to the Toadies," says Vaden Todd Lewis, succinctly and accurately describing his band - quite a trick. The Texas band is, at its core, just a raw, commanding rock band. Imagine an ebony sphere with a corona that radiates impossibly darker, and a brilliant circular sliver of light around that. This sick, twisted essence was first exemplified on the band's 1994 debut,
Rubberneck (Interscope). An intense, swirling vortex of guitar rock built around Lewis's 'wrong' songs - like the smash single 'Possum Kingdom,' subject to as much speculation as what's in the Pulp Fiction briefcase, it rocketed to platinum status on the strength of that and two other singles, 'Tyler' and 'Away.' Its success was due to the Toadies' organic sound and all- encompassing style. Overcoming issues with record lables post-Rubberneck, the Toadies are now free to pursue success on their own merit and muscle.
Seeing Eye Dog, Helmet's seventh album, is one of the band's most uncompromising and ambitious releases, embodying the classic and utterly unique Helmet sound and pushing it into regions the band has never before explored. One big reason for that spirit of musical adventure is the record is essentially self-released (through the Work Song label). Seeing Eye Dog also finds Helmet pushing at its own boundaries, the grimly affecting White City, for instance, is as close to a ballad as Helmet has ever dared. LA Water sounds like a Beatlesque Helmet and later, And Your Bird Can Sing is a Helmetesque Beatles, with the band wielding the Fab Four's standout Revolver track like a molten sledgehammer. The mostly instrumental Morphing, the luminous sound sculpture in the middle of the album, might seem unlike any other Helmet track, and yet it has the same monumental quality as the band's most brutal work.