TORA TORA 'Bastards of Beale' Album Review
In 2017, the band was approached by Frontiers about doing a proper new studio album and they enthusiastically jumped at the opportunity. The resulting new album, “Bastards Of Beale,” brings back the magic of the band’s blues-rooted hard rock sound that gained them a loyal following in the first place. Always a far cry from their more polished peers and more spiritually connected to blue collar hard rock, the band’s return picks up where they left off while not sounding even the slightest big dated.
'Bastard of Beale' could've been released as a direct follow up to 1992s "Wild America' and the band wouldn't have missed a beat. Same bluesy, gritty Memphis soul that endeared the band to the masses in their early years is in full effect in 2019. If anything the band comes across as any person with time and age does, with a lot more feeling and songs that reflect a lifetime of experiences.
Some of the highlights in an album full of them:
"Sons of Zebedee' kick things off and in an instant your reminded of what made Tora Tora stand out from the pack back in the late eighties and early nineties. There's a feeling in the opening riff and pounding of the drums that this is the real deal and when Anthony Corder's vocals kick in it's like reuniting with a long lost friend or lover, and you can't help but smile.
'Son Of A Prodigal Son' would've fit nicely on 'Wild America'. There's a killer drum tone through out 'Bastard of Beale' but John Patterson really shines here. 'Son Of A Prodigal Son' has a down home delta blues feel, with a great guitar build up kicking this track into high gear and a stand out vocal performance from Corder. Probably my favorite song on the album.
Rose of Jerhico' some really nice guitar work from Keith Douglas highlights this foot stompin' number. With Anthony Corder smoldering vocals letting you know Rock n Roll ain't dead yet, it's a track that will have you singing along in no time at all.
'Lights Up The River' just like some of the bands previous ballads it just seems Corder's vocals are suited for such songs. The grit in his voice has a way of making you feel every word. Cool little number. If your a fan of songs like (Being There, Phantom Rider) this should be right up your alley. If your a fan of Tora Tora ballads you should definetly check out Corder McCormack "Heaven's Song" https://youtu.be/02H81hKEzSw
And in the end..... just like reconnecting with that long lost lover you can't help but wonder what could've been. If every night was a great as this (or album In this case), what could the last couple of decades given you? In Tora Tora's case the band picks up seamlessly from where they left off in the early nineties and as a fan I can only wonder how many great albums the band could've released in the last 27 years had they never walked away. Here's to hoping they band sticks around for several more releases in the coming years. If you were a fan of the bands first couple of albums, you're sure to love 'Bastard of Beale'
Reviewer: Josh Smith
Sons Of Zebedee
Silence The Sirens
Son Of A Prodigal Son
Lights Up The River
Let Us Be One
All Good Things
Rose Of Jericho
Bastards Of Beale
TORA TORA Lineup:
Anthony Corder: Vocals/Background Vocals/Acoustic Guitars
Keith Douglas: Lead & Rhythm Guitars/Acoustic Guitars
Patrick Francis: Bass
John Patterson: Drums/Percussion