Words: James Frostick
Today we’re stoked to be introducing Tor – an up-and-coming trio specialising in a dizzying brand of rip-roaring punk. Limber guitars, nervy synth and snappy percussive punctuation, Tor’s new single ‘Wifi Head’ is an attention-grabbing critique of our technological dependency, a stinging condemnation from a group of kids that have been savvily surfing the net since they were small.
I’m firmly in the Millennial demographic, and as such I like to think I’m a part of the first generation to be almost completely raised by technology. Television, computers, games, the Internet – I had it all, to some degree. But as the years progress I get the feeling that its actually the kids that came after me that are getting the full warts-and-all digitised upbringing and, consequently, they’re the ones coming of age around the same time the Internet is starting to lose its wondrous veneer. Punk upstarts Tor see technology for what it is – a potentially harmful construct, capable of doing damage from a distance. This is big, seeing as this trio (comprised of former Sweethearts members Mary-Lou Hylands on bass and synth player Kelli Blackmore, as well as Disco Junk’s Billiam Twyford on guitar) essentially grew up with the never-ending info stream at their fingertips.
With their new single ‘Wifi Head’, the group takes stock of technological failings and the ways it can ruin someone’s life with ease. It’s no coincidence that a group so outwardly wary of technology takes its name from the world’s most notorious anonymous communication network. Perhaps everyone should be as circumspect when it comes to matters of the webspace – the proliferation of fake news, the rise of toxic behaviour shrouded by anonymity and our unabashed obsession with our feeds is clearly sending us spiralling downward. Sonically, Tor revels in the kind of straightforward, synth-laced punk that sprints out of the gate with pace and seemingly never loses any of its momentum. There’s shades of Ausmuteants, Circus Variety Act, Girl Germs and a few others, but I don’t recall many of these groups sounding so sharp from day dot. Composed and crisp – that’s what ‘Wifi Head’ is. Exciting and energising – that’s what Tor is, too.