Music News


Chances are, if you've been paying attention for the past seventeen years or so, you know who Tool is. You probably also know some really obnoxious idiots who worship this band mostly for its darkness and the brutal precision of its instrumentation -- that, and its supposedly misanthropic themes. This fact makes it easy to miss or completely dismiss the fact that Tool is more than just the music. The act's shows are rich multimedia experiences, and its lyrics often put forth ideas about human existence more complex and introspective than the volume of its songs make obvious. Influenced by the high-concept art rock of King Crimson and the visionary, philosophical humor of the late, great Bill Hicks, Tool should be -- but rarely is -- known for its brilliant fusion of vital ideas and musical prowess.

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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.