Jinx8-Way Santa
IctusInfrared Riding Hood
Trash Truck8-Way Santa
BehemothGod's Balls
Mystery CopterInfrared Riding Hood
Axe To GrindSalt Lick
Sex God MissyGod's Balls
Jack Pepsi8-Way Santa
Wood GoblinsSalt Lick

Tad photo 1

Tad (l to r): Gary Thorstensen (guitar), Kurt Danielson (bass), Josh Sinder (drums), Tad Doyle (vocals, guitar) – photo: Marina Chavez



TAD playlist


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Contributor: Ann Sequinworld

So, picture the scene. It’s the 25th of October 1989 and TAD and Nirvana are playing at my local, The Duchess in Leeds, and I’m excited. It promises to be a great gig – except I come home from a long day at work and fall asleep on the sofa and miss it all. Friends have been ringing to see where I am and finally the phone wakes me at 10.30pm. I’ve still not lived this down despite seeing both bands many times over the next couple of years.

“TAD were one of the heaviest Seattle bands to emerge from the mid to late 80s, fashioning a loud, slow, lumbering grind that, unlike many of their peers, was inspired far more by 70s metal than punk. TAD are still respected and revered as one of the most ferocious bands to come from the US west coast.” (from the band’s official website)

Certainly one of Sub Pop’s finest bands, TAD were probably the noisiest group to emerge from Seattle. Coming up at the same time as Nirvana, the four-piece never got the recognition they so rightfully deserved when compared with some of their counterparts. There’s not even a whiff of punk on TAD’s skull-caving material – heavy metal is the dominant force here. Whether it’s the no-nonsense smash of 8-Way Santa or the riff heavy Inhaler, TAD are unapologetically indebted to the sound of the 70s.

Anton Brookes, the UK publicist for the Sub Pop label to which TAD were signed, said “This new wave of bands was coming over, courtesy of John Peel, and it was really exciting. It was fresh new music being made by kids who looked like us. The bands were from the arse end of America and we were from the arse end of the UK and it was exciting.”

No luck, bad luck and lawsuits – Jack Pepsi was released as a single but Pepsi filed a lawsuit against the band due to the cover art, a stylised Pepsi logo with TAD in the place of the product name. Another lawsuit was filed due to the cover of 8-Way Santa which featured a found picture of a man cupping a woman’s breast. The couple in the photo, one of whom had since become a born-again Christian and remarried, took exception and sued. Sub Pop changed the album cover to a group shot. Later, when signed to Giant Records, the label quickly got cold feet and dropped the band when a poster promoting Inhaler surfaced featuring Bill Clinton smoking a joint with the caption ‘it’s heavy shit’ (source: Wikipedia).

Tad poster 1


I hope you enjoy this TAD Top Ten and go on to explore the rest of their recently remastered back catalogue.

Jinx8-Way Santa (1991)
“Sludge-encrusted monster riffs, drunk and wilfully dumb as hell, all played with punk abandon and noise rock overkill.”

IctusInfrared Riding Hood (1995)
“Testosterone-fuelled, dropped-D metal guitar and vocals.”

ParegoricInhaler (1993)
“They offered eardrum-piercing volume, pounding riffs and a singer who didn’t care what rock stereotypes said about frontmen and just got on stage and killed it.”

Trash Truck8-Way Santa (1991)
“For promotional videos, the band were encouraged to behave like forest-dwelling psychopaths who wielded chainsaws and thirstily licked the blades of their pocketknives.”

BehemothGod’s Balls (1989)
“Busted circuits and ringing ears.”

Mystery CopterInfrared Riding Hood (1995)
“Devoid of melody and focused on their feral-pounding rhythm and primal-tonal assault.”

Axe To GrindSalt Lick (1990)
“We were certainly more multi-dimensional than people gave us credit for .. it became tiring to keep hearing us lumped into that small, restraining box when we knew there was so much more to us.”

Sex God MissyGod’s Balls (1989)
“Doyle’s onstage persona also tapped into his more fearsome and feral side. He would roar, sweat and headbang while, to his side, Danielson would thrash about with such abandon that over the course of TAD’s career the bassist managed to crush two of his own vertebrae.”

Jack Pepsi8-Way Santa (1991)
“It wasn’t just the lawsuits, unwise decisions and lack of conventional good looks that denied TAD the keys to the castle … occasional melodic inroads aside, TAD were harder, scarier and less fathomable than their plaid-sporting chums.”

Wood GoblinsSalt Lick (1990)
“Just listen to the menacing grind and hard crunch of TAD and you’ll quickly find out just why this outfit are considered one of the heaviest groups of the counterculture movement.”
“No hunky, no junkie.”


Tad finally gave up the ghost in 1998. Kurt Danielson joined up with the Screaming Trees/Mudhoney side project Valis, while Tad Doyle formed a new group, Hog Molly, which released an album called Kung-Fu Cocktail Grip in 2001. Hog Molly broke up shortly after the album came out, and Doyle next fronted a short-lived band called Hoof. In 2008, he formed Brothers of the Sonic Cloth, who became a fixture on the Seattle rock scene (source: AllMusic).

Tad photo 2



Tad photo 3

Ann Sequin World at the above gig in 1990 (photo: Tad Doyle)

Tad photo 5

Ann’s photo of Tad that same night!


Tad official website

Tad bandcamp

Tad on Sub Pop

Tad biography (AllMusic)

Ann loves the psychedelic music of the 80s/90s. In between gigs, she runs her own business, Sequin World and Bead Monster. You can follow her on twitter @ann_sequinworld and other social media sites.

These are Ann’s other posts on this site: Loop, The Heads, Thee Hypnotics, Mudhoney, Wooden Shjips, The Lucid Dream, The BellRays, Moon Duo, The Telescopes, MC5, Leatherface.

The quotes relating to this top 10 are from reviews at the time of each record’s release, paraphrased here and there and attached to a song. This was a cut-up process and the quote may not originally have been about that particular song but … you know what … it doesn’t matter because it works.

TopperPost #932

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