Tad - God's Balls - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Tad - God's Balls

by Sean Hewson Rating:8 Release Date:2016-11-04

God's Balls comes from a time when Grunge was just beginning to interest the UK. It's a time when Mudhoney were the band most likely to succeed, Tad were the band that best encapsulated everything that early Grunge was about and Nirvana were just the support act. It's the perfect Grunge artefact in that it came out on Sub Pop in 1989 and was produced by Jack Endino (in the same year he also produced Nirvana, Mudhoney and the Screaming Trees). For people of a certain age, this is the real Grunge - a scary, backwoods blend of heavy psychedelic rock, metal and punk, played either by huge men with huge hair or stringy men with stringy hair. To outsiders (people reading about them in the Home Counties), Tad were exotic - like the family from Texas Chainsaw Massacre but nice, funny and accepting of outsiders.

Listening to God's Balls now it is a perfect companion piece to Superfuzz Bigmuff and Bleach. It is the sound of pre-Nevermind Grunge - monstrous, growly bass; screaming vocals; funny/gross lyrics and a fascination with serial killers; guitar riffs, noise and freak outs; an underdog agenda. Tad could also be quite funky (Satan's Chainsaw, Ritual Device), write an anthem (Boiler Room - 'God's Balls! Sweet Jism! Jesus!') and had a charisma and personality that the other bands didn't yet have. What's also interesting is the blend of bone-crushing riffs with quite out-there guitar noise and feedback - the view of the band as lumberjacks with guitars doesn't quite apply, there's something odd in there as well.

Jack Endino's production is, quite rightly, scruffy. The sort of things that Butch Vig would tidy up are left in. Tad Doyle's vocal sits in the mix, shouting, screaming and mumbling (check out the Internet's attempts at decoding his lyrics). Also included are the 1988 single Daisy/Ritual Device and an unreleased version of Tuna Car. The single is an absolute belter with a bit more of a Sonic Youth influence in the guitar sounds.

God's Balls is as perfect an encapsulation of an era and a scene as The Ramones' first album. Others would do it with more finesse, better tunes and better videos; but this is the sights, sounds and smells of early Grunge.

Comments (1)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Tad never really got their due......a bit too early to the party, but a great band nonetheless. Your review was spot on!

There are no comments posted here yet
Related Articles
Tad - God's Balls - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab
TAD - Salt Lick
  • 11/18/2016
  • By D R Pautsch
Tad - God's Balls - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab
TAD - 8 Way Santa
  • 11/14/2016
  • By D R Pautsch