Tora! Tora! Torrance! – Get into It

The Militia Group has made quite a name for themselves as of late: they serve as home to the Beautiful Mistake and Noise Ratchet. These bands have made a name for themselves in the “emo” scene. But nothing about Tora! Tora! Torrance! could be considered emo. They are rock the way it is being played by bands like Christiansen and Hot Water Music: guitar-heavy punk-influenced indie rock. And TTT does it quite well.
“Killer Cut the Phone Line” starts this disc and rocks my socks off. It is noisy and fast, aggressive yet not angry. To me it’s what the Strokes could be, if I liked the Strokes. It’s loud, fast, party music. And the nasal, almost street-punk vocals of Nick Koenigs are most decidedly something that adds to the allure of TTT, not to mention the simply genius guitar work of Jason Peterson and Jon Tester.
“Hottest Pants” starts off mellow, but by the end the bass is pulsing and almost carrying the melody as the drums carry one of those sloppy rhythms that I do love so much. “Shot Down in America” starts out with all the amps cranked to 10. The half-screamed vocals remind me somewhat of …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, but while Trail of Dead had dynamic contrast, this track is loud from start to finish, as if the band is in some sort of race to see who gets done first. It’s a tie, but the end result is something fantastic, a Sonic Youth-esque assault on the ears.
“Upstairs Bedroom at a Party” doesn’t disappoint either, starting off with simply bass and letting the other instruments meander in. It has the dynamic change that “Shot Down in America” lacked, and it is welcome variety. One might think this is an instrumental track, but after a while of somewhat repetitive musicianship, Mr. Koenigs adds his decidedly original vocal tone to the song in sort of a whiny, pleading fashion, but it’s not Dashboard Confessional whiny, so it works well.
From start to finish, this CD is what punk should be, experimental, original, and loud. It’s moving and interesting, with different drum beats for each track! Attention Pennywise: this album is punk. This album is the reason I love being a music reviewer, because I get good shit for free. Carry on, but not before you get this album.