High school was a rough time for everyone, wasn’t it? My least favorite part was when teachers and guidance counselors would pull me aside around report card time. “Joe, these aren’t necessarily bad grades but you’re just not living up to your potential.” I’d just roll my eyes and sink deeper and deeper into the vast leather of the hot seat, while holding back the laughter I so desperately wanted to unleash because of the amazing fart-like sound the chairs would make when you slid your ass around in them. Man, all I cared about was making that chair fart. It’s the same damn thing I was thinking about while listening to Tora! Tora! Torrance!’s Get Into It, only this time it was their turn in the hot seat.
Get Into It doesn’t waste anytime underwhelming you. The cover art consists of some boring studio shots of the band made to look like a half-assed collage my eight-year old niece wouldn’t even brag about. Okay, so you guys have floppy hair. Great.
The opening track, “Killer Cut the Phone Line,” opens with a dial tone that immediately launches into some really uninspired At the Drive In riffage over your standard local pop punk band rhythm section action. I can’t stress enough how lame it is to rip off At the Drive In at this point. I know they were an exciting band and all, but it’s over. Getting further and further into the record, my frustration with the musicians in the band wanes and all my ire begins to focus on the band’s singer, Nick Koenigs.
What’s going on, Nick? Problems at home? Look, you’re a really interesting vocalist. I think you’re capable a lot of really great things. The album is called Get Into It, right? Well take your own damn advice. Bands come and go, but a good frontman can really make or break things. I have no doubt that Tora! Tora! Torrance! will mature into a fierce rock and roll machine at some point, but the line has been drawn in the sand. Do you know what that line is called, Nick? It’s called mediocrity. Oh, one other bit of advice. You’re not much of a writer, so a good idea would be to avoid putting your lyrics in the liner notes especially when they’re as bad as yours. But I suppose it’s not a concern. That’s evident in the song “My Turn in the Hot Seat,” when Koenigs sings, “I don’t care how lame this sounds.”
Not surprisingly, the best moment on Get Into It is the album’s finale, mostly because it’s an instrumental. “Remember the Alamo” is one of those closers that sounds like a baby bear getting tucked in for the night. I’m really a sucker for that sort of thing, and I’d being lying to you people if I said it didn’t kick the rating up a half point. But, pretty, twinkling guitars and a sweet and warm vibe aren’t enough to save this album from the used bin, though. That’s one song and it can’t counter the other eleven songs on the CD that just don’t make the grade. As for you, the faithful reader, pass on Get Into It, but keep your eyes peeled, because Tora! Tora! Torrance! might be a force to reckoned with … someday.