Have you ever looked through your CD collection or iTunes (or whatever) library and found an album that you haven’t heard in years only to re-discover it in all of it’s greatness? Well, that’s a Lost Treasure my friend!
So I was looking through my collection last night for a “gem” and I found one. An album by a lil Memphis hard rock band by the name of Tora Tora. The album: Wild America.
Tora Tora was a band out of Memphis, TN that hit the hard rock/metal scene in 1989 with their debut album “Surprise Attack”. The band had a great sound that really kinda of put them outside of the “hair metal” badge that was pinned upon many bands coming out around this time.
The best way to describe them would be to take 2 parts Tesla, 1 part Cinderella, 1 part Black Crowes and a dash of Zeppelin and POOF: TORA TORA! How can a recipe like that fail? Well, unfortunately for them, the world already had each of those bands and these guys just pretty much got looked over. They did have a few videos that hit Headbanger’s Ball back in the day so at least it was enough to earn them a few notable tours and a pretty nice sized following across the US. I actually saw them twice (both times in Atlanta to capacity crowds) so they weren’t doing all that bad.
The debut album spawned two decent singles with “Walkin’ Shoes” and the amazing “Phantom Rider”. The album sold decently and the band toured w/ acts like L.A Guns, Sass Jordan, Bonham, Dangerous Toys, and countless others. Then the band set out to write and record, in my opinion, an amazing and sadly overlooked album.
“Wild America” was released in the year of doom for all that was hard rock/metal, 1992. The band showed definite signs of growing up yet the sound that worked so well for them stayed the same and sounded even better on new songs such as the title track “Wild America”, “Lay Your Money Down” and “Dead Man’s Hand”. The sound was more mature, less metal sounding and seemed to embrace the roots a bit more. The album was extremely well produced and even spawned a couple of REALLY great singles/videos, “Amnesia” and my favorite song on the album, “Faith Healer”.
Tora Tora – Faith Healer
This album from start to finish is a great, classic hard rock record that really stands up well on it’s own. I would probably put this in line w/ Tesla’s “The Great Radio Controversy” as far as how well it was written, performed and produced. It’s a great listen. It’s also out of print but you can usually find copies on Ebay for pretty cheap so even if your curious, check this one out. It’s a great piece of hidden treasure without a doubt!