Hello Tool. How did you manage to skip the line? Oh – your friend Todd?! I need more information about this.

Backstory of Tool and Me

Palette Cleanse on the TodCast

The Music Ranked Website started out as a sandbox project. My main goal was to use WordPress 5.0 (known as Gutenberg) without any stress or consequence. Migrating a clients website and breaking something would not be a good to learn the new update. Instead, I thought I would put together a side project and document my music ranking journey.

I’ve always included my brother in the mix. Mostly asking his opinion on ranking strategy and possible formulas. Occasionally he would have me guest on his podcast, aptly named the TodCast. We had several conversations about music and one was pretty detailed about my scoring algorithm.

After a few months of being a guest, Todd suggested I become a regular. As co-host, I would like to pull a little more weight and supply show topics. I suggested that I think we could gain some listeners by reviewing bands. I noticed over the last year that there are some gaps in podcasts when it comes to reviewing bands. Maybe we could grab a few extra ears if someone was specifically searching for podcasts about “band”. We figured a category of shows on Music Ranked! made sense.

Todd and I went through each group from my 2007 list. Luckily for Todd, he enjoys most of my early groups. We hammered out ten episodes when we had an idea. Wouldn’t it be nice to review some of Todd’s favorites. He managed to make his own list one weekend and we compared notes. Turns out Tool was the highest ranked on his list that doesn’t show up on mine at all.

After talking about Chicago and Peter Cerera – Todd called for a palette cleanse and we would do the full treatment on Tool.

Unfortunately, I have zero side stories or memories associated with the band – except for this new memory made during COVID-19. Maybe when I do an update in 10-years I will speak again about this time discovering a new band.

Tool Ranking – Changes Over the Years

I was aware of Tool in 2007, but only knew the song “Schism”. This would qualify them for my top 169 artists, but only having one song on my playlist makes sense why they didn’t rank.

I could see Tool being in the top 169 if I had access of their full catalog or was exposed to their discography sooner. They would likely rank I the same range as Staind or Godsmack. Not 100% similar but close enough.

For more of my opinion, be sure to check out my initial blog post on Ranking Tool 21.0.

Check out where they rank on my current list.

Tool Metrics

By The Numbers

Qualified Songs: 65



A Deep Dive Into the Current Score

Tool did not make any friends with their experimental approach. They managed to have several noise tracks, which added to the feel of the album but tank my overall scoring. A song of someone talking on an answering machine or random sounds get instant 1-star and count as detractors.

They reminded me a lot of Pink Floyd. Even the band stated that the albums should be listened to as albums. This approach tends to allow for some odd songs but sound okay as a whole.

Tool managed to put out some hits in my eyes, but failed to get a bump for being a favorable genre. Although I don’t hate Tool, most songs were okay (3-stars). I don’t have any nostalgia, so mediocre songs don’t get an added star.

Tool managed to get a positive score but I’m not sure if they will hit my top 100.

Todd's 2-Cents for Tool

Todd’s 2-Cents: Tool

We’ve “crossed the streams” on this one, pulling out a band that was not on Eric’s list at all and interjecting one of my top groups.  It doesn’t really surprise me that Tool was not on Eric’s list, as they are a harder sound than much of what he typically enjoys…in the same way that it makes perfect sense for them to be on my list.

As such, I obviously have a deeper history with the band when compared to Eric.  In most cases, the groups that Eric (and I) discuss here have at least some roots in the musical tastes of our father.  And while he was still alive when Tool began releasing albums, I seriously doubt that they were on his radar at all and that if they were, he probably would not have been a fan as he tended to gravitate away from the heavier sounds (much like Eric).

That said, I think that there are considerable parallels between Tool’s music and that of some of dad’s favorite groups like Pink Floyd, Utopia, Yes, and the like.  They all made music that had “depth” both in composition and lyrically.  They all showed range, producing gentle melodies as well as rocking crescendos.  I like to think that if Dad were still with us, I could persuade him to try some of their later works…and that he’d like them.

In any case, as much as Eric has introduced me to new music (or at least expanded my view on some of these artists) through the Music Ranked project, it was nice to be able to return the favor.  

Favorite Album: 10,000 Days

Favorite Song: “Right in Two”

Reference Material for Tool

Podcasts About Tool

Published 01/25/2018

Your Favorite Band Sucks

Tool Sucks

Should the introduction to a band be though a podcast labeled “Tool Sucks”? Probably not – but it was the easiest find on Apple Podcasts that I was sure wasn’t going to be talking about Allen wrenches and screwdrivers. The description of the podcast said something like this “There’s a reason Tool fans have a reputation as some of the worst people in America – they are. Listen, realizing you’re an idiot is never easy but try not to overreact, okay?”. So the hosts aren’t fans. Well, maybe not. It is a comedy podcast so who knows. Either way, they discuss some of the inner workings of the band and I managed to learn the name of the lead singer so I can continue to search for podcasts with his name – Maynard James Keenan.

Published 07/02/2016

Someone Who Isn’t Me

Episode 10: Maynard James Keenan (Tool/Puscifer/A Perfect Circle)

After hearing the stories from This Band Sucks, I was very scared to listen to an interview with Maynard James Keenan. I expected a pompous elitist. Within the first few minutes, I heard a discussion about Lucha Libre wrestling and Monty Python. Chalk it up as A failed experiment of listening to This Band Sucks first. Although this podcast was more intellectual and less biographical, it was a nice look into the personality of Tool’s frontman.


The TodCast PodCast

Music Ranked! Tool

Coming Soon.

Published 08/28/2019

Talk is Jericho

The Fear Inoculum of Adam Jones

I have been a subscriber to Chris Jericho’s podcast since the day it launched. Jericho has a very diverse group of guests. Wrestlers, ghost hunters, and rock stars are often featured interviews. This my first time hearing Adam Jones’s story and also his first time on a podcast. Jones and Jericho talked everything from wrestling to sculpture work on Jurassic Park to playing in Tool. This is a great and easy to listen to interview.

Published 09/19/2017

The Joe Rogan Experience

1326: Maynard James Keenan

I’ve heard all about the Joe Rogan podcast for years and this was the first time I’ve sat down and sampled. This two-hour conversation with Maynard was enjoyable for about the first 30-minutes. I found myself daydreaming and not being interested. They talk almost zero about Tool or Maynard bands. It was just a conversation between two guys, which is fine if that’s what you are looking for. I wanted some background stuff.

Published 10/25/2019

Kerrang Inside Track

Making of Fear Inoculum

I was able to listen to Maynard and also Jones – now we heard from a few other members of the band. This podcast was a nice look at the making of their 2019 album. They talk about the process, why it took so long, and how streaming comes into play. Great behind the scenes peek.

Published 08/27/2019

ArmenHammer TV

4ears – A Look At Tools Catalog

I always hope to find one of these gems when I am doing podcast research. I love it when you can find some knowledgeable hosts that know enough about a band to be dangerous but not over do it – declaring everything the best ever. On this podcast, the hosts go back and forth discussing a few songs from each Tool album. They review the differences in sound a bit of the history with each album.

Published 02/08/2017

Don’t Look Back

Maynard James Keenan Has a Weird Relationship with Led Zeppelin “Kashmir”

If you want a nice little interview with the frontman of Tool, here you go. They talk about Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and “The Pina Colada Song” (kind of). It’s not incredibly long or deep, but pleasant.

Published 09/20/2019

Sound Opinions

Opinions on Tool

If you want some opinions on Tools Fear Inoculum album, stick around for the first 10 minutes. I can’t say these guys are fans and they give some harsh opinions – but it’s nice to hear other’s opinions when seeking out Tool podcasts.

Published 11/13/2016

Publishers Weekly PW LitCast

A Conversation with Maynard James Keenan and Sarah Jensen

Maynard wrote a book and did the promotional tour in 2016. Maynard was joined by the author of the book. This short 15 minutes dove deeper into some of Maynard’s backstory than some of his other podcast interviews – that lasted hours.

Videos and Movies Featuring Tool

There were plenty of interviews and segments featuring Maynard James Keenan – but I had my fix of Tool from podcasts. I was able to catch a few YouTube videos but didn’t invest too much time. Maybe I will come back in the future.

Tool Vicarious

Released: 2007

Tool – Vicarious Documentary

I wasn’t sure what this was at first – a documentary on the band or a movie special effects documentary. This video reviews the path of Adam Jones and how Tool created the CGI video for Vicarious.

Buy on Amazon

Lie Likes Music

Released: 2018

Understanding Maynard James Keenan

Sometimes you have to rely on YouTube to do all of the dirty work for us. Thankfully Lie Likes Music can save you hours of podcasts to give you a run-down of Maynard James Keenan in 13-minutes. He covers his start, side-hustles, and personality quirks. It’s a fan-made YouTube video but delivers the goods.

Watch on YouTube

The Battle of Tool Albums

I was only a few songs in and I had a good feeling that 10,000 Days was going to be my favorite album. The album was solid from start to finish and thankfully there were no detractors. The same can’t be said about Ænima and Salival.

10,000 Days90.91%
Fear Inoculum30.00%

The Greatest Hit from Tool

We skip the tournament and go right to the finals. Why? We had two 5-Star songs. Was it going to be the popular favorite “Schism” or the underdog “The Pot”?

Tournament Outcome

“The Pot”

With a shocking finish, “The Pot” gets the victory. This was a song that I didn’t know existed several weeks ago. This seemed like one of the few songs where Maynard was front and center singing. Not only did I love the intro, when they go into the music – GOLD. Great song and very happy to add this to my playlist.


Tool went from unknown to earning a positive score in my rankings. Will Tool likely be in the top 50? Doubtful. They provided far too many experimental tracks that many wouldn’t deem as “music”. The overall genre of prog-metal holds them back slightly. I enjoy progressive rock but metal is iffy. This band is not yet retired – so maybe they release another album in the next 20-years and shift a little higher on the list.

Tool Podcast will be launching soon. Until then, check out The TodCast PodCast where I discuss Music Ranked!


July 14, 2020

There is always a possibility of some of the longer tracks on 10,000 Days get upgraded. There is a clear bias towards longer tracks, but maybe I will forgive Tool and give credit for being able to produce such solid tracks – even if 13-minutes long.

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