Toys in the Attic

You don’t have to be a music critic to sense that Aerosmith sucks dead bears. If Led Zeppelin and AC/DC were battleships, Aerosmith would be barnacles. If my roof was leaking, I’d nail Aerosmith LPs over the leaks. Exposing their vinyl to acid rain could only improve the sound.

But you once loved these guys!
You know me too well, Mr. Subhead. I’ve played air guitar for years to Aerosmith’s version of “Train Kept A-Rollin’.” If it came on the radio right now I’d do it again, and then I’d call NPR to ask why they’re playing Aerosmith in the middle of Thistle and Shamrock.

As long as I’m confessing, I might as well confess it all. Some years ago, after the glaciers had retreated but before we speared the last saber-toothed tiger, the young Aerosmithers played an all-ages dance at the National Guard armory in Fall River, Massachusetts. We high school journalists-in-training wanted to interview them for our school paper, but we never got backstage. In my memory we were chased from the building by an enraged Steven Tyler wielding a flaming guitar, but if I could travel back to that moment I’d probably find it was just a Pabst-swilling roadie with a Carl Yastrzemski baseball bat.

Eventually I grew up, realized just what it was I was listening to, and traded my Aerosmith records for something better, like a frog.

Aerosmith: Plague or pestilence?
If scientists cannot answer this question, why am I suggesting you put yourself at the mercy of Toys in the Attic? Because Toys transcends the congealing sludge of the Aerosmith discography on the strength of one song, “Sweet Emotion.” How this band produced that song is a mystery. “Sweet Emotion” is one of the supreme driving songs in Western culture. It even sounds good when you’re parked.

Give the rest of this disc a chance and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the passably rockin’ title track, as well as “No More No More” and “You See Me Crying,” which showcases Tyler’s bargain-basement voice but somehow wins you over with its amateur theatrics. (I don’t include “Walk This Way” because I never saw the point of that song until it was hip-hopped by my namesakes.)

If you’re planning a party, “Sweet Emotion” pairs well with another winner by a loser band, Foghat’s “Slow Ride.” Don’t forget to invite Run-DMSteve.

  1. Run-DMSteve says:

    I accuse Accused of Lurking of making an important yet slippery distinction. Yaz is in the Hall of Fame. Rico isn’t. It makes sense that Aerosmith would choose the lesser brand of bat for their security personnel, since they are a lesser brand of band. And yet Rico was no happy-go-lucky doofus but a guy who had some pretty good moments in his career. So owning a Rico Petrocelli bat isn’t uncool, except by comparison.

    In the ’70s there was a show called ‘Petrocelli,’ but it was about a lawyer, not a shortstop. Aerosmith performed the theme song, “Janey’s Got a Grand Jury.”

  2. Accused of Lurking says:

    At least Steven Tyler is now doing penance for past bad behavior by listening to hundreds of untalented contestants on American Idol. I’m waiting to hear whether one of these hopeful idiots tries serenading him with “Love in an Elevator” or “Janey’s Got A Gun.”

    And I think it was a Rico Petrocelli bat.