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Tool: Ænima (Zoo)

Chuck Eddy, Spin, December 1996

TOOL'S GENRE is yawning-chasm metal — instead of concrete songs beginning and ending, volume knobs simply open and close, engulfing you like a sperm whale's mouth. The nightmarish and often-gag-reflex-activating (e.g., intestine-meat oozing through sewer pipes) Gumby-in-Hell claymation videos to 'Sober' and 'Prison Sex' broke them out of L.A. cultdom in 1993. But their grunge was dark and hookless, occasionally grunting through constipated funk. On Ænima, guitar dude Adam Jones discovers dynamics, sculpting his classical chord progressions in the Salt-N-Pepa homage 'Pushit' into an exactitude that rings and buzzes magnificently.

Total word count of piece: 307

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