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Tormato [Bonus Tracks]
, Contemporary Pop/Rock
, Album Rock
, Art Rock
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The '70s model of Yes runs out of gas. Recorded in a morale slump and an impending haze of drink, Tormato's decent tunes are sabotaged by Rick Wakeman's increasing penchant for cheesy textures and the band's thin overall sound. "Don't Kill the Whale" was their last successful single for years; the soaring "Onward" almost but not quite redeems the twee silliness of "Arriving UFO" and "Circus of Heaven." Of special interest is the pounding "On the Silent Wings of Freedom," which pushes Chris Squire and Alan White to the front of the mix, establishing the kind of aggressive and straightforward rhythms that would propel the band through the '80s. Bass freaks, take note: this tune also marks one of the few appearances of the Dipthong pedal, accounting for Squire's distinctive "bow bow bow" sound. [Tormato was reissued by Rhino in 2004 with nine bonus tracks, including five previously unreleased songs and two demos.] ~ Paul Collins