Tad brings sludgy Seattle-style grunge to Vancouver, skips the chainsaw



By Steve Newton

Maybe you’ve noticed the Tad posters plastered along the Granville Mall and other choice free-advertising locations the last week or two. Those eye-catching items feature a photo of a huge mountain-man biker type, brandishing a chain-saw that’s so big it doesn’t even fit in the picture. “Makes Meat Loaf Look Like a Beauty Queen” screams the ad.

Well, that was reason enough to check out Tad at the Town Pump last Saturday (March 9).

As expected, the poster’s proclamation proved a tad exaggerated. Still, lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist Tad Doyle didn’t look like the kind of guy you’d want your teenage daughter to bring home—especially when his greasy hair got plastered to his face with sweat and he did his bug-eyed, leering routine. You might do better than run into him in a dark alley, too.

Wearing a XXXL black t-shirt sporting the message “Smoke Pot”, Doyle used his trusty SG/Marshall combo to good effect on the dirty rhythms of the Seattle band that bears his cute little name. “Thanks a lot, you bastards,” said the big fella when the opening tune went over lightly. Then he added: “It’s great to be back in Mexico,” whatever that means.

“I’m gonna play a slow one for you now,” lied the Tadster, before he and his mates—lead guitarist Gary Thorstensen, bassist Kurt Danielson, and drummer Steve Wied—ripped into another fast track from their new Sub Pop release, 8-Way Santa (what does that mean?).

While Tad the band is neither the best nor the worst of the many so-called “grunge” acts that have emerged from the Pacific Northwest in the last little while, their sludgy wall-of-sound barrage had the trendy alternative die-hards at the Pump in hog-heaven by night’s end.

Not a huge grunge fan myself, though, I was left uninspired by the plodding arrangements of all but a few tunes. I kept hoping that Tad would pull out that monster saw of his and start making some real noise.

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