Tora! Tora! Torrance! - A Cynics Nightmare (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Tora! Tora! Torrance!

A Cynics Nightmare (2003)

The Militia Group

So, Tora! Tora! Torrance!, huh? Hmm…I'm up in the air about these guys. They have passion, that is for sure, so points for that. But as far as the actual music is concerned, I can't decide how much I like it. I have not heard their first album "Get into It" but I have heard that this is an improvement. But for now, I will just have to review this alone.

TTT! plays gritty, sometimes chaotic garage-rock meets post-punk, if that even means anything at all. I would compare them most to International Noise Consipracy (these guys even have the organ now and then), with maybe a dash of The Blood Brothers' more straightforward moments. The vocals also sound like a crazy mix of the singers from those two groups, if they were trying to imitate Steve from Hot Hot Heat. This could be a good thing, but what does it really sound like? Weird, almost annoying at first. He sort of half-sings, half-yells everything, and is very monotone yet energetic. But with the wall of sound TTT has, I don't know if I could imagine it any other way.

The album starts off with a bang with "Yr All on our Dance Card" which is hard hitting, and is instantly singable with the "Yeah, yeah, yeah / What, what, what?" (I think he's saying "what") and then the first lines of "What's wrong with a little monogamy? / What's wrong with you? / What's wrong with me?" in this song about drinking, drugs and sex. The track also has a sweet bridge with some cowbell action, and has a false ending that's cool rather than annoying.

For there on, the album maintains it's energy and only slows down at a few moments like the title track, but even that sustains the albums energy with it's full-on assault moments and others moments with some breathing room, with twisting guitar and bass lines. "Dr. Badd" is a solid tune with a great chorus that doubles-up the time from the verse, and has a cool odd-measure grouping for a different recycling feel of the riff. The last track "UFO" is a waste though, it is merely noise and random hits and synth squeals that never turn into much of a song.

I know my comments have seemed mostly positive, but I still am not sure about TTT. The songs tend to blend together in my head, and I cannot understand the majority of the vocals except the ones in the song titles (and those very first lines of the album mentioned earlier). I wish the vocals were a little more than bottled energy and that I could sing along. But they are trying to do something different by building on the garage-rock thing, and I feel they have succeeded. Everyone should give TTT a chance individually and decide for yourself, I think it's just a matter of opinion with these guys.