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Tora Tora: Bastards Of Beale
Tora Tora - Bastards Of Beale Music Review

Tora Tora: Bastards Of Beale

Melodic Hard Rock

I remember Tora Tora, the hard rock band from Memphis. I remember their most successful album Surprise Attack, only because of the chick on side of WWII airplane on the cover. I also remember not owning or even listening to the album. My bad. But they were a rather obscure American band, with minor hits. Coming around the end of the Eighties, the cascading wave of grunge was the death of the band. But history is just that, history. The original band members reunited in 2008, doing some shows and then dropping some recordings of unreleased material. Then the melodic rock angels at Frontiers Music came knocking, and here we have Bastards Of Beale, Tora Tora's first new music in nearly thirty years.

Tora Tora Photo - Click For Larger Image

Tora Tora

And the album makes me wish I paid more attention to the band back in the day. With a strong hint of blues, Tora Tora offers arena ready, AOR accessible, melodic hard rock, both interesting and entertaining. Where to begin? Perhaps with front man, Anthony Corder who has a smooth, bluesy, and soulful voice. He has that style that conveys both effortless ease and passion. The guitar lines are equal parts brisk and sharp, offering their own harmony to each song, and Keith Douglas can lay down some sweet solos. Backing them up is the fine rhythm section of Patrick Francis on bass and John Patterson on drums, easily delivering all the easy beat and groove you can handle. Working together Tora Tora has created some quite catchy tunes.

Songs with some tough riffs and ambitious groove come with Sons Of Zebedee, All Good Things, and Everbright, which reminded me of a Zeppelin sound. Rose Of Jericho brings a lively upbeat groove that will keep your toe tapping. The title track has a fine bass and drum start, then quickly drops into a brisk riff rocker with Corder grooving with the harmony and melody. Alternatively, with Lights Up The River, you have an acoustic guitar driven rock ballad staring smooth but rising in riffs later. Perhaps my favorite song here, Silence The Sirens is a pure AOR melodic rock anthem with catchy rhythm and groove in the riffs, fine bass line, and an infectious refrain. Listen below, you'll dig it too.

It's enough to say, Tora Tora's Bastards Of Beale is a fine album of AOR melodic hard rock from a band that still has some creative and restless talent surging in their veins. Easily recommended.

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The Bottom Line

Tora Tora's Bastards Of Beale is a fine album of AOR melodic hard rock from a band that still has some creative and restless talent surging in their veins. Easily recommended.

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