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Album Review: Torso – “Sono Pronta a Morire”

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

Torso (Hardcore/D-beat) stream debut album “Sono Pronta a Morire”

Torso is a new hardcore and D-beat punk band from the Bay Area that features members of hardcore act PUNCH.  They are streaming their debut album Sono Pronta a Morire in its entirety, and you can give it a listen below.   It’s a little more straightforward hardcore punk than the blast beat powerviolence of PUNCH, but still has the same anger and aggression, and rips just as hard.

Sono Pronta a Morire was released on September 7th via Sorry State Records.

DS Photo Gallery: Subhumans, Torso, Korrosive at Thee Parkside, SF (10.22.15)

Last Thursday I woke up in eager anticipation for the next two nights of Subhumans in San Francisco and Oakland respectively. The shows left me bruised, haggard, hungover, and wanting more as the UK punks continued on their West Coast tour.

Night one opened with the acoustic stylings of Sam Sadowski aka Closet Fiends, who just recently released her debut self-titled EP, which you can listen to here. I unfortunately missed the majority of her set (which I typically do), however friends thought it was a nice start to the night – heartfelt, emotional, and at the same time gritty yet melodic. I look forward to seeing what the future has in store for Closet Fiends.

Next to the stage was my buddies in Korrosive. The Oakland punks are no strangers to the scene, and they pool their collective experience to create a sound that seems like it would be straight out of ’80’s England. With a nod to bands like Discharge, Conflict, Anti-Nowhere League and more, the band builds on the success of the past, while maintaining a unique West Coast sound. As the night went on, I realized there was a similar theme to every band – the outlandish frontman (or in the case of Torso – frontwoman). With Scoochie at the helm, you’re sure to have a great time at any Korrosive set – just get ready to dance and move, or you might get trampled.

Fellow Oaklanders, Torso, were next to the stage – and this is modern D-Beat punk at its finest with a twist – female-fronted vocals! Quite the refreshing sound but don’t expect anything subdued or poppy, as the vocals are as in your face as ever, only stopping to catch your breath. The band is touring on the heels of its latest release, “Sono Pronta a Morire”, which came out last month. The majority of their set was comprised of new songs, one of my favorites of which was “No Commonality” – punk at its finest. You can stream the entire new album here.

The air was thick and the floor saturated in beer as the main event took the stage. Subhumans are a band that aren’t really creating new material these days, but that’s not what fans want. We want the classics – the “No”, “Society”, “Religious Wars”…the “Reason For Existence” and “Mickey Mouse is Dead”. Well we got everything we wanted and more. The set was relatively short, so it was very much a wham-bam-thank you ma’am kind of event, barely enough time to recover from the last song before you were thrust back into the overflowing can of sardines that was the pit at Thee Parkside. One thing I really love and admire about Dick Lucas is his longevity in the scene – not only is it testament to his talent and range, but it gives faith for other bands to stick with it and keep perpetuating that beautiful sound of the streets that we all cling to.

Have a look at all of the photos from the night’s sets below.

Thanks to Federico and all the staff at Thee Parkside, Christian, Kevin, and all the rest of the crew that made it a great sweaty night.