All this talk about the Islamic State has got me reminiscing about my second favorite country in the world, Iraq. This nostalgia also reminds me about something that seems like a lifetime ago, the last time the band Tool came out with an album. One day after a long afternoon of sightseeing in and around the city of Tikrit, I returned to my residence as the sun was setting. As I slid the barrel to my .50 caliber machine gun under my bed and then placed the receiver group next to it, I heard something very familiar yet very new to me play through the plywood wall.

As I heard the song (unknown to me at that time, called “Vicarious”), I asked my neighbor what he was listening to. He informed me that Tool had a new CD and there were five of them left at the PX by the by the Victory Inn DFAC. I decided cleaning the machine gun could wait, and hurried to pick  up a copy. I fondly remember utilizing the built-in bifocal lenses of the cover to stare at many things. It was the year 2006.

What Is Tool?

Tool is a band fronted by a man who goes by the name Maynard James Keenan. The other members are Danny Carey, Adam Jones, and Justin Chancellor. The band has a larger than cult following due to their clever musical layouts, lyrics, and style. This band is quite popular considering its music is not available for sale on iTunes. The band’s discography starts with with the EP “Opiate” in 1992 and continues to the album “10,000 Days” in 2006. With their independent thought, total creative control, and oddly-metered songs, Tool is unique in the music industry. Their lyrics are rather ingenious and inspire deep thought for the listener. Such creativity is not apparent to me with the current mainstream music on the radio.


Why I Like Tool

Aside from song titles as “Prison Sex” and “Sober,” the actual meter of the music caught my attention. Having studied music before, playing anything other than four beats a measure is much harder to play. When I heard “Guitar Hero: World Tour” and some Tool song on it, I purchased it immediately and had many purchases of extra guitars over the course of the year due to my frustrations playing “Vicarious.”

Sometimes when I go to the grocery store or to the coffee shop after of the gym, other men compliment me on my Tool t-shirts. It’s almost like a secret handshake of sorts because I live in the Bible Belt. These shirts are starting to get “well-worn” due to soaking up sweat and disinfectant spray at the gym and being bleached by the sun when running outside. This is another reason I hope Tool releases a new album this year, so I can score some new threads to look good in while working out.

Hope For The Future

It is well known that Tool’s front man has many other projects. Maynard James Keenan is also the front man of the band “A Perfect Circle.” He has another project called “Puscifer.” This along with other band members’ side projects could have led to a delay, but I do not know. I do know I was cool with the supposed it five-year plan implied by the scheduled releases starting with “Aenima” in 1996, to “Lateralus” in 2001, and “10,000 Days” in 2006.

Aside from the non-mainstream EBM groups out of Europe, there has been no music really worth buying in the last seven years. Where I live all the radio stations merely play manufactured top-40 music. One cannot make it through an hour scanning the radio without hearing the band “Nickelback.” One can only hope that there is a new Tool album to fill this void in the coming year’s time.

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