Music » Music Stories & Interviews



Burden Brothers

Two years ago, Todd Lewis questioned whether he'd even continue playing music. Lewis, the lead singer and driving force of the Toadies (surely the best rock band ever to emanate from Fort Worth), had just come to the end of a torturous six-year industry slow-dance with Interscope Records. After watching the band's debut album, Rubberneck, go platinum with marginal label support, the suits at Interscope rejected the group's planned followup, and by the time it emerged in 2001 under the title Hell Below/Stars Above, the Toadies were forgotten by radio and written off by their own record company. Within a few months, bassist Lisa Umbarger announced that she was leaving, and the dispirited group quickly disbanded.

Lewis, like so many rock auteurs before him, had seen his creative autonomy slip away in the Toadies' final years, and he knew that if he formed another band, things had to be different. Casually jamming with old friend - and former Rev.

With Minister Fiend, Medicine Tongue
Wednesday, December 31
$20 advance; $25 day of show
Sunset Station Lonestar Pavilion
1174 E. Commerce
Horton Heat drummer - Taz Bentley, Lewis returned to the spirit of spontaneous creativity that had initially made the Toadies so exciting. As fast as songs were written, they were recorded, and streamed on the Internet. As a result, the free-floating band, called the Burden Brothers, built a grassroots following on its own terms, and sidestepped crippling self-consciousness. Now, after three increasingly promising EPs, the band has emerged with Buried in Your Black Heart, a full-length CD on Trauma/Kirtland that merges Lewis' tuneful ferocity with Bentley's no-nonsense, four-to-the-bar beats. Best of all, this band has allowed these D-FW metroplex brothers to lay down some old burdens. •

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