"Busted Circuits And Ringing Ears"

(MVD Visual 2008)Tad - Busted Circuits And Ringing Ears

Considered by many of their colleagues as the heaviest band in, not only the Seattle scene of the late 1980s and early 1990s, but in the world, Tad never saw album sales similar to the likes of Nirvana, Soundgarden or Pearl Jam despite writing and recording undeniably tight releases like "Inhaler" and "8-Way Santa." The new documentary "Busted Circuits And Ringing Ears" takes a look into the band as they were repeatedly tied up in legal red tape and record label politics.

Featuring interviews not only with the band's core members Tad Doyle and Kurt Danielson and drummers Steve Wied and Josh Sinder, the documentary offers some insightful interviews with the likes of Mudhoney's Mark Arm, Soundgarden's Kim Thayil, Nirvana's Krist Novoselic, photographer Charles Peterson, Sub Pop founders Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Poneman, among others.

Particularly interesting among the topics covered in the film is the band's willing image marketing and, according to Danielson, "exploitation." It is an issue that specifically irked Thayil, who criticizes Sub Pop for promoting Doyle as a "folkie savant character; this kind of retarded, huge monster of a man." And forget the visits to YouTube; the DVD includes five of the band's videos, including the MTV reject "Wood Goblins," which was deemed "too ugly."

"Busted Circuits And Ringing Ears" creates more questions than it inevitably answers by jumping right into the action with little back story, devoting less time and investigation to some of the contributions to the band's eventual downfall and by avoiding even letting us know what each of the band members are up to these days. A good documentary that gets its foot in the door and offers a sort of initial overview of Tad, "Busted Circuits And Ringing Ears" pays an admirable tribute.


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