Saint John-based band The Torinos recently released their debut album Over Our Heads. The album, which was recorded entirely by Jay Merrill and produced by Jay and Sam Astorino himself, was a learning curve for the band. With all of its unexpected twists, turns and jolts, Over Our Heads stands out and carries its own unique feel.
“On this album we used material from the last five years we have been together,” says Sam, who plays lead guitar and does the main vocals for the band. “We have had a few changes [over those five years], the biggest being changing bassists 2 years ago, which came with challenges.”
The five years it took before the band recorded their first album allowed them to develop varied sounds and bring them all together to form the album. From upbeat folk melodies and rock ‘n’ roll beats to punk-rock guitar riffs and heavy breakdowns, this album demonstrates a wide range of abilities in the skill sets of the trio. Each musician is also part of other musical projects as well, including Salmon Jazz, Jelly, The Sticky Bandits, Acres n Acres, Womb to Tomb, Reagans Rayguns and The Welfare Boys. The variance in the musical background of all three members allows them to each bring something different to the mix, which add up and create the band’s signature sound.
Sam’s raw, expressive and sometimes even groggy-sounding vocals are unlike any other. The album is full of long breakdowns that can cause you to get lost in the music, followed by sharp turns that keep you on your toes and keep you moving. When listening to this album, your dancing style can go from gently swaying your hips to full-on headbanging, and back again. The trio creates a sound that is unique and doesn’t follow today’s mainstream. The keep-you-on-your-toes quality of this music allows it to really stand out and give it an adventure-like feel.
If you like the way The Torinos sound on their new album, you should make sure to catch them live. “We like to drink and yell at the crowd, and put on a high energy rock n roll show,” says Sam. The band puts on captivating and lively performances without fail, and usually with even more unexpected twists and turns.