Top 40 Before 40 Rock Artists - #6 - Toadies

I have always said that if I could join one band as a new member, I would be in Toadies. I have never really understood why I like this band as much as I do (other than the fact that they make absolutely rocking music), but I can say that I have loved them since their first album Rubberneck came out in 1994.

Also, I used to play “Tyler” in my band in high school as a cover song - and still do in my home practice area - because the song is absolutely awesome. It is one of my all-time favorite songs.

Maybe it’s the macabre sense of melody or borderline psychopathic lyrics that weave their way into otherwise up-tempo songs that appeals to me. Or maybe it’s just the absolute talent of the music and vocals that drives such a passionate fandom in me.

Either way, I can say that Toadies are high on my list for great reason, and I was shocked they weren’t in the top 3, but I had to be true to the rest of the list as well.

For those of you who are just joining this list at this point, let me give a quick summary below:

  • In my almost 40 years on this planet, I have had the great pleasure of listening to a lot of music that doesn't make it to the airwaves, and a lot of these bands are some of my absolute favorites.
  • You WILL see some Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame bands on the list too, but for the most part, you are likely going to disagree with this list almost entirely.
  • I am sharing this ranking so that you get some insight into some great bands you may have never heard before AND for a little bit of a personal challenge to myself to rank these bands.

With that said, let's get to #6 on my Top 40 List Before 40:

By Danazar - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

By Danazar - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

#6 - Toadies

I have seen Toadies twice in concert, and while the venues were vastly different sizes, the experience was the same. Rocking, loud, awesome music with a lot of energy and enough songs for even the mild fan to sing along to.

Vaden Todd Lewis, the singer for Toadies, has not only an incredibly gifted singing voice that has enough rasp to make Rod Stewart jealous, but he also has one of the most creative lyric styles that I can think of. In fact, there is only one other songwriter that I can think that puts the same type of dark energy into his rock songs as much as Lewis, and that is Matt Skiba from Alkaline Trio.

There’s just something about taking an otherwise happy sounding song, adding a minor or 7th chord in for an off-putting effect, and then writing some twisted lyrics that just works really well in music. And Toadies have made a mastery of it.

Some people reading this may have thought that Toadies disappeared after their hit single “Possum Kingdom,” but I am here to tell you that you have unfortunately missed one of the best bands making some of the best music over the last 30 years.

I have truly loved every album that they have released with No Deliverance and Feeler being absolutely phenomenal...with the former being even better than Rubberneck, in my opinion.

Play.Rock.Music, Hell Below/Stars Above and The Lower Side of Uptown are also all fantastic albums as well. Hell, these guys even did a cover album of their own songs called Heretics which sounded oddly great, and I hate cover albums. I guess it’s different when you cover your own songs.

When Toadies split up back in the early 2000’s, Lewis also created another band called Burden Brothers that made equally awesome rock music that you should check out as well.

If you are interested in checking out some of the best of the stuff you missed, listen to these tracks:

Similar Artists That I Recommend That Didn't Make The Top 40:

Burden Brothers, Alkaline Trio, Local H

<-- Check out #7 on this list or Check out #5 on this list → (Available July 20, 2021)

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