Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Tora Tora-Wild America, 1992

Normally I don't like to review cd's that are no longer in print, but I will make an exception for this one. I got my copy of Wild America for $4.00 used like two years ago at the record store and I think you can get it for around that used at Amazon or eBay if you look for a while. This was Tora Tora's follow-up album to their fine debut "Surprise Attack". This Memphis based band sounded a little like Tesla, but they rocked a bit more an had even more of a groove to their sound. I remember "Amnesia" and "Faith Healer" actually getting some airplay on the local radio station back then. These guys were surprisingly smooth here considering it's just their second album. They crank out solid blues flavored hard rock like they have been at it for a long time. Unfortunately it was the summer of 1992 and grunge was continuing to take over while commercial metal like this was being shoved aside. It may have helped if they could have gotten a major opening, but that didn't happen. Instead they were out touring clubs as a headliner. I saw them in August of '92 in a club with no AC and very little ventilation and it was packed. I almost blacked out about halfway through their set, but I didn't want to have to leave and miss them. So I stood near the doorway so I could get some air and enjoyed the rest of a great set. Both of their albums are really fine, but I prefer this one as they seem a little more confident in what they are doing.


Blogger Volkher Hofmann said...

Yes, yes, yes.

One of those forgotten albums I picked up and played a lot. I would call it one of my guilty pleasures.

Despite other pretty decent songs, for me "Amnesia" is a killer track because of the drive, the main riff and the power it pumps out of the speakers. Still love that one today.

I remember many people saying that the band was a rip-off, a conglomerate of styles current then, and in part it was certainly true, but it was one of those surprise finds (I also got it very cheap, if I recall correctly) that still sneaks its way into my CD player on a more gegular basis.

3:21 AM  
Blogger :P fuzzbox said...

I was amazed yesterday when my internet radio station played Tora Tora. I hadn't heard them in awhile. It still rocked.

7:57 AM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

Volkher-They didn't break any new ground, but they were very good at what they did.

Fuzz-That's cool.

I know I have mentioned this before. I read an interview with Tora Tora's bass player a year or so ago on Metal Sludge and he said the band had recorded a third album years ago. Apparently their label A&M held the option on a third album. They let the band record it and this would have been around 93-94, but the label decided not to release it. The interview asked the bass player if they would ever release it and he said no, but didn't give a reason. It's a shame because a lot of these bands are packaging their old demos and outtakes and selling them. Tora Tora's stuff still sells on ebay so I bet it would sell alright if they would release the lost third album.

9:01 AM  
Blogger Vicious Steve said...

Tora Tora was huge here in Rhode Island back in the day, I remember 'Surprise Attack' getting a lot of airplay in local parking lots we used to hang out at.

I remember the 3rd album being called Revolution Day, and there was a tracklisting for it, but the music is sadly still a mystery. I remember reading somewhere (Metal Sludge?) that the band retained the rights to Revolution Day as part of their being dropped from their label.

I agree, there is a market for this type of music, albeit a small niche market. A band like Tora Tora could make a little coin in releasing it.

10:41 AM  
Blogger MemphisMuzik said...

If anyone is intrested in a copy of Tora Tora Revolution Day, email me at I have it on CD and it is really good.

9:56 PM  

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