It’s fast, it’s loud, it’s heavy, and it’s angry. It’s Sono Pronta a Morire, the debut full length from California D-beat/hardcore band Torso, and god damn is it intense. The band features members of another prominent CA hardcore act, PUNCH, and like its sibling, Torso is as in your face as possible. They tackle feminist, straight edge, and vegan ideals with breakneck fury and a crunchy California guitar tone. It’s like they take the best parts of their home states 80s sound and add a layer of modern day aggression.
In just under 20 minutes, the 11 song album rarely lets up from the first feedback heavy intro on “Reflections of a Damaged Life.” Most songs are under a minute and a half long with only two songs just barely breaking the two minute mark. And while every song is guaranteed to get a circle pit going, they all feature some type of breakdown to change things up. Some of them just take things from fast to mid-tempo, and feature that California crunch prominently, reminding me of the kind of punk Off! has been pounding out over the last couple years. This is most notable in the breakdown of “Eating Scraps” and the intro of “You Stay on that High Horse.” Other songs like “Pigeonholed” slow things down even more for their breakdowns and are sure to have the pits going nuts.
On top of the wonderful instrumentation is the equally wonderful female vocals. There aren’t many D-beat bands that feature female vocals and it’s a welcome change. The vocals provide a constant vitriolic attack to match the aggressive music. Lyrics are screamed so harshly and quickly that it’s hard to keep up with what’s going on, even while reading along. You can really feel the fury behind the words as they yell things like “Chipping away at my sanity. Negative thoughts. Dark mentality. Regression. No way up.”
The only downside to the album is that even while they do more than enough to break things up and keep things interesting, the pace is still generally the same throughout, and by the end, you can be left feeling a little worn out and that songs are starting to sound the same. This doesn’t last long though, as before you know it, the album is over and you’ll be wanting to listen to it again.
4 / 5 Stars