The line-up on Salt Lick doesn’t differ from that on TAD’s debut, God’s Balls (Tad Doyle on guitar and vocals, Kurt Danielson on bass, Gary Thorstensen on guitar, and Steve Wied on drums), but the sounds differ quite a bit. God’s Balls sounds sludgier, slower, and more lumbering (in a good way), whereas Salt Lick has a slightly more industrial sound. If God’s Balls sounds like grave-digging, then Salt Lick sounds like demolition work. To put it better, Salt Lick sounds like Tad has been laying some cable, in both senses of the term. This is not to imply that I prefer the sound of one record over another; both were recorded appropriately. The recordings largely reflect the trademark sounds of their engineers—Jack Endino and Steve Albini.
"High on the Hog," w/ Kurt Cobain on vocals
I contacted both Doyle and Albini for comments. Doyle has been too busy to get back to me, which is fine. Albini mentioned that he doesn’t remember the sessions too well—they were 20 years ago, after all—but gracefully attempted to answer some questions anyway.
Lamestain: Did the band indicate why they wanted to record with you? (Meaning, were there any past recordings that they especially liked or referenced?)
Steve Albini: I liked God's Balls and mentioned it to Tad when I met him. That may have influenced his decision, but he never mentioned it.
Lamestain: What was the recording process like? The record was recorded well before you opened Electrical Audio. Where did you record it? Did the band use their own instruments or instruments at the studio?
Albini: Everything was recorded and mixed at CRC. They used their own guitars, I don't remember about the rest.
Lamestain: The bass sound--which is fantastic--recalls Big Black a little. Was this planned in advance or did it relate to the recording process (for example, as a result of the instruments used)?
Albini: Don't remember doing anything special. Sorry.
Lamestain: Were there any leftovers from the sessions? Any songs that appeared in different versions on later albums?
Albini: I think everything they recorded ended up on the EP.
Lamestain: Is there anything you especially love or dislike about how that record turned out?
Albini: I have mixed feelings about it. I remember some songs sounding more ass-kicking than others but not being able to put my finger on why.
Lamestain: Finally, I've been curious about the provenance of a song called "Habit & Necessity," which appeared on an early Dope, Guns, and Fucking comp. It doesn't exactly sound like anything from either the sessions with you or those with Jack Endino while at the same time sounding a little like each of those sessions. Did you record this?
Albini: Doesn't sound familiar. Sorry. That was pretty lame, sorry. I don't have that many vivid memories about those sessions.
"Wood Goblins"--too "ugly" for MTV
We’ve been happy to see TAD finally getting their due, even if it’s coming nearly two decades too late. One of Seattle Weekly’s blogs claimed that “Wood Goblin” was the best Northwest music video ever made. We’ve heard rumors of the possibility of TAD reissues. The Busted Circuits and Ringing Ears DVD came out a little more than a month ago (it’s highly recommended); it's reviewed here, indicating that we’re not the only people feeling nostalgia for TAD. Doyle has insisted that his heart isn’t in to the possibility of the reunion, so this will probably be the closest we get. As much as we would leap at the chance to see TAD again, we would like it more if some of you young whipper-snappers reading this blog would finally quit being such pussies and pick up the mantle where TAD left it.
Because of the possibility, however remote, that these records will see reissue, we’re only posting a couple of mp3s. Really, you have no excuse for not owning it already—none whatsoever! We also found a live show from this era via the computernet that we’ve added below. The sound quality is surprisingly good.