Tad – Busted Circuits and Ringing Ears DVD
During the Sub Pop/Grunge Years in the early 1990s while bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden and Mudhoney were getting a large share of the attention there was a very large individual by the name of Tad Doyle who was making every bit as much noise as those bands, and often times more and better. He started out by doing a 7″ by himself and then formed a full band under the name Tad. Both Tad the man and Tad the band was a powerful musical force that should have made a much bigger splash than they actually did. If you haven’t heard Tad before, do yourself a favor and track down the song “Axe to Grind” from the Salt Lick EP as it stands as one of the best things ever recorded on the Sub Pop label back then. The how and why Tad didn’t leave a bigger mark on musical history is the subject of this DVD.
Busted Circuits and Ringing Ears tells the full story of Tad the band, from its start as a lone man with the same name who recorded a 7″ for Sub Pop to how it evolved into the full band who went on to put out a handful of really good records that didn’t always get the recognition they deserved. It is told through recent interviews with the members themselves as well as people who were involved with the scene at the time such as Bruce Pavitt and Jonathon Ponnemon of Sub Pop Records, Mark Arm from Mudhoney, Kim Thayil of Soundgarden and many others. It covers everything including the legal troubles over record covers, band members leaving, the band moving on to major labels, drug use and the eventual demise of the band. I learned a hell of a lot about the band watching this documentary and the pacing and content were perfect from start to finish. I was literally so enthralled with this thing I did not leave my couch for the full 90 mins it was on. Not only do you get a rich history of the band but you learned a lot about how things worked at Sub Pop at the time too which was equally fascinating as at that time I was buying everything the label was releasing and going to see those bands play all the time. It was one of the best put-together documentaries I’ve come across in awhile now, so much so that it would be an interesting watch to someone who doesn’t even know who Tad is.
The video is presenting in letterbox (non-anamorphic) widescreen. The audio was 5.1 surround. The mix of music and interviews was really well done and not once did I feel the need to adjust the volume for different segments of the film. Bonus material is comprised of five music videos that span nearly the entire career of the band.
Having been a fan for awhile of Tad when they were on Sub Pop, but then losing track of them around the time they moved onto major labels, I found this documentary to be a great way to remember the past and learn what I missed when I let it get away from me. It makes me want to go back and get the rest of the Tad records I overlooked and I have a much greater appreciation for the man and the band. I’ll easily be re-watching this on a regular basis and showing it to my friends. The people responsible should be proud of the fine documentary they’ve put together.