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Charge of the Light Brigade
by Russ Spencer
(c) 1995, Entertainment Weekly

Glen Phillips is fed up. The unassuming lead singer and creative heart
of Toad the Wet Sprocket is, frankly, sick of being called a wuss by the
music press. Phillips, 24, rages philosophical: "We have been insulted
for not being hard enough," he says. "We'd just like our music to be taken
at face value. It's obvious if you listen to us that we're not a hard band.
Why get pissed of at us for not doing what we don't do?"

Phillips deserves some slack. He has survived "purgatory" -- what he
calls the six years of nearly constant touring the Santa Barbara, Calif.-
based Toads have just completed. And with his three band mates (drummer
Randy Guss, guitarist Todd Nichols, and bassist Dean Dinning, all 28), he
has also produced two platinum albums ("fear" and "Dulcinea") and is looking
at a likely third million seller with "In Light Syrup", a collection of
previously unreleased songs and B sides that debuted at a very respectable
No. 37 on the Billboard Top 100. Plus, "Good Intentions," the album's
first single, was chosen for the "Friends" soundtrack and is rising steadily
on four Billboard charts, including Hot 100 Airplay and Album Rock.

Toad's quiet success (and dependence on non-stop touring) is due, in
part, to those skeptics who have, at best, ignored the band's contemplative
guitar rock and, at worst, dismissed it as an R.E.M. rip-off. "Even if our
music is not groundbreakingly important, it touches people," Phillips
says. "Our point of view and the emotions we discuss mean something to

The self-described geeks met while acting in a San Marcos High School
production of "Our Town." They found a garage suitable for practicing,
lifed their band name from a Monty Python sketch, and started performing
in clubs they couldn't legally get into. None of them have ever played
in another group, which, according to Phillips, has given them a musical
synergy that their fans can tune in to, even if the press can't: "When
you're together for 10 years, you either eventually get good or break
up. We got good."

(c) 1995, Entertainment Weekly