» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum

May 5, 2008
RATING: 8/10
Before Nevermind blew up it was Tad, not Nirvana, that reigned as the biggest thing in Seattle's nascent grunge scene. Way louder and heavier than any of its peers, Tad was led by a psychotic, 300-pound woodsman and former butcher who wrote dark lyrics and was an evil guitar wizard with a bag full of mean, crushing riffs at his command. Or, at least that's how Sub Pop marketed the band. The truth was something altogether different.

Clothed in flannel and brandishing a chain saw in the early video for "Wood Goblins," Tad Doyle, his face contorted with rage, played the part faithfully. And yet, the new documentary Busted Circuits And Ringing Ears portrays Doyle, the band's namesake, as a warm, intelligent, and funny performer willing to do just about anything to further the cause of his band - see the frightening, but hilarious, opening sequence of Doyle being filmed sitting on top of a moving car rolling down the streets of Seattle. Unfortunately for Doyle and his bandmates, their story is also a hard-luck tale of major-label deceit, inner turmoil, massive substance abuse and career sabotage.

A full and complete history of the band, Busted Circuits And Ringing Ears seamlessly weaves ferocious live footage together with testimonials from journalists, fans, Sub Pop label executives and Seattle music giants such as Soundgarden's Kim Thayil, Mudhoney's Mark Arm and Nirvana's Krist Novoselic to tell the story of Tad in rich detail. Priceless between-song banter and images of the mountain man Doyle stage diving could bring a smile to anyone's face, but it's the sad narrative of how misguided intentions - however humorous - and corporate neglect torpedoed Tad's rise that will suck viewers in.

Always looking for a laugh, Tad ticked off the wrong people along the way. Pepsi was not amused when the band used the Pepsi logo for the single "Jack Pepsi." Another lawsuit stemmed from Doyle slapping a racy photo of a scantily clad couple locked in an embrace on the cover of the 8-Way Santa LP - the woman, who became a born-again Christian, apparently stumbled across it by chance while in a record store. And then, there was the infamous promo poster for the album Inhaler - perhaps Tad's most powerful statement of purpose - that showed then President Bill Clinton smoking a joint with the caption "This is heavy shit." Apparently, not everyone got the joke, and that's too bad.

Far from being a novelty act, Tad had the musical chops to compete with any of their peers, and on the Bleach tour with Nirvana the band more than held its own, as the film demonstrates. Influenced more by the 1970s proto-metal of Black Sabbath and Blue Cheer than punk, Tad, in its original incarnation, was powered by the bulldozing bass of Kurt Danielson, the drum bashing of Steve Wied - and later, Josh Sinder, formerly of The Accused - and the guitar fury of Gary Thorstensen. Tad caused earthquakes. Tad destroyed cities. Tad, as writer Charles Cross, author of "Heavier Than Heaven," put it, had a sound that "...was literally so heavy that I felt like I was having a heart attack" and, at the same time, was as sophisticated as Sonic Youth.

The fascinating legend of the band aside, Busted Circuits And Ringing Ears also wistfully documents the rise and fall of Seattle's grunge scene. The story moves along at an easy, but never turgid, pace, and it is dense with material, including a handful of music videos as a bonus. While Doyle and his bandmates deserved a better fate than the one they received, at the very least they have this documentary as a tribute.

TRAILER: www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2Reke4PRxM

SEE ALSO: www.myspace.com/tadrocks
SEE ALSO: taddoyle.blogspot.com
SEE ALSO: www.subpop.com

Peter Lindblad
Peter Lindblad lives in Appleton, Wis., and bleeds green and gold just like all the Packer fan nutjobs in the area. He does draw the line at wearing blocks of chedder on his head, or any other body parts for that matter, though. His professional career has taken weird twists and turns that have led him to his current position as an editor at a coin magazine. He hopes his stay there will be a short one. Before that, he worked as an associate editor at a log home magazine. To anyone that will listen, he'll swear that Shiner was one of the greatest rock bands to ever walk the earth. Yet he also has much love for Superchunk, Spoon, DJ Shadow, Swervedriver, Wilco, Fugazi, Jawbox, ... And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Queens Of The Stone Age, and Modest Mouse, among others.

See other articles by Peter Lindblad.



If you'd like to help spread the word about LAS, or simply want to outfit yourself with some adhesive coolness, our 4" circle LAS stickers are sure to hit the spot, and here is how to get them:

--> Send an with $2 in PayPal funds to cover postage. Don't worry, we'll load you up with enough to cover your town. Then just be patient. They will arrive soon.


LAS has staff and freelance writers spread across North and South America, Europe, and a few in Southeast Asia as well. As such, we have no central mailing adress for unsolicited promotional material. If you are interested in having your project considered for coverage, please contact us before sending any promotional materials - save yourself time and postage!