Review: Tora! Tora! Torrance!

– by brian greenaway

*based on a true story

(Interior Scene. Night. Record shop. Posters and T-Shirts adorn the walls. CDs and Records are displayed in neatly arranged racks. Two young men, BARRY and ROB stand around, thumbing through the discs. ROB goes slowly, contemplating and nodding at various albums. BARRY violently shoves entire stacks aside with reckless abandon.)

ROB: Do you think they have that new Offspring album?

BARRY: Who cares? You don’t want that shit anyway. You know what you want? You want something you can dance to and something that kicks you in the teeth. You want this. (BARRY points emphatically to a Tora! Tora! Torrance! CD)

ROB: What the hell is this?

BARRY: This, my ignorant friend, is the best band to come out of Minnesota since Husker Du. These are the guys with the spastic riffs that make you wish you hadn’t broken up that garage band of yours from high school. Only unlike that band, these rockers can write lyrics, instead of those crappy covers of “Sunshine of Your Love”. Tora! Tora! Torrance! is Dangerous. They’re playfully brash. They’re pretentiously self-reflexive. They strut around the stage like Mick Jagger and know that it’s a joke, but they look and sound so polished doing it.

ROB: Didn’t the White Stripes already do that?

BARRY: So what? And besides, TTT! doesn’t have that same bluesy feel to them that The White Stripes do. They’re from St. Paul, remember? They don’t let black people up there unless they play for the Timberwolves, so they have more of a prog-punk sound.

ROB: Oh god, not prog.

BARRY: No. No. Not in a bad way. They’ve got the skittish time signatures and the long songs, but it’s all about the guitars. Sometimes you can actually hear them scream in pain. The guitars screech and they wail and the next thing you know you’re dancing.

ROB: I don’t know if i want to see you dance.

BARRY: Ok, Wade Robson. I’m just saying it’s about time someone made punk that you could move your feet to. And the lyrics; remember when i said they’re self-reflexive? Look at these lyrics on “I Thought I Was At A Punk Show”. Look at this, “And at such a young age with such a young face / don’t tell me you are that cynical”. See? They don’t buy into the bullshit even while they play along to it. You gotta get this one.

ROB: Can i have the first dance?

BARRY: Eat it.