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Tora Tora - Bastards of Beale

Tora Tora
Bastards of Beale
by Louise Brown at 17 April 2019, 5:57 PM

TORA TORA began in Memphis, Tennessee during the late 1980s and had a few hit songs around that time as well, including "Walkin' Shoes," and "Amnesia".  Over the years that followed, the band made several more albums. Today their latest one, "Bastards Of Beale," is the one I'm checking out. As a fan of theirs from all the way back in the 1980s I have to admit I'm curious to see if their sound has held up.

I like the opening track, "Sons Of Zebedee".  It starts out strong with the band's signature blues-based Southern Rock sound and carries on in that vein as the song continues. My only objection is the chorus which sounded a bit weaker than the rest of the song. All in all, still a pretty good tune at the end of the day. The following track, "Giants Fall," isn't quite as enjoyable. It sounds alright, but the anthem-like theme doesn't really do much for me since I've heard it before. However, that doesn't make it a bad song by any means at all; it has a good, solid sound to it that will appeal to many fans of the Southern Hard Rock genre. "Everbright" is a lovely little gem with a bluesy, gritty sound compelling you to move as you listen to it. I got the impression that the band had more fun with this one, too. Their enthusiasm is pretty easy to hear in their performances on the recording.

 There really aren't any terrible songs on this album. If I have to pick one that I really didn't respond to it would be "Rose Of Jericho".  It reminds me of other songs that I've heard before with regard to the vocals and backing music; didn't grab me the way the other tracks did. Otherwise, everything was pretty damned good. "Silence The Sirens" represents a slight change from the band's normal style. I enjoy it a lot more than I expected to since it's one of those "laments of society" songs. However, the vocals on it are excellent as well as the backing music which is very catchy. "Lights Up The River" is a pretty song about a woman scorned with some LED ZEPPELIN aura to it while "All Good Things" is a return to the band's earlier years with its bluesy- rock-infused sound. It's another one that will have your foot tapping while you play it. "Vertigo" is a great surprise because it's an instrumental. Not many bands in the genre seem to bother with "music only" tracks these days so I especially enjoy the change in direction. In my opinion TORA TORA  has always been overlooked with regard to their skill as musicians; it's nice to hear them showing off a bit. My favorite song on the album is "Bastards Of Beale".  It opens with a heavy bass-laden intro then becomes very quick-paced and very Southern. I find myself smiling as I listen to it because I can tell this band hasn't lost anything over the years. They still deliver great music that makes you feel good while you listen to it.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

  1. Sons Of Zebedee
  2. Giants Fall
  3. Everbright
  4. Silence The Sirens
  5. Son Of A Prodigal Son
  6. Lights Up The River
  7. Let Us Be One
  8. All Good Things
  9. Rose Of Jericho
  10. Vertigo
  11. Bastards Of Beale

Anthony Corder -  Vocals
Keith Douglas -  Guitar
Patrick Francis - Bass
John Patterson -  Drums

Record Label: Frontiers Music SRL


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