Toros – Reading Is Important
CD: Reading Is Important

Artist: The Toros
Label: Self Released Rating: 3/5
Best Song: Begging For The Surgery Reviewer: Cole Faulkner

Utah garage pop punk band The Toros know how to make quick, smart little political jabs without every taking themselves too seriously. Their latest six-song EP, Reading Is Important, is a sarcastic, laugh heavy satire gunning for hypocritical state officials in one of the most right wing regions of America. Specifically, they take aim at the locale’s rampant homophobia by skirting around the issue and suggesting alternatives that are so ridiculous that they ultimately make their point.

Armed with a backdrop of blown out, heavily distorted guitars played to a steady Ramones-like tempo, and vocalist Zak Kindrachuk’s sloppy deliverance (at times revealing a hint of Mike Ness), The Toros don’t seem to care who they offend or how they do it. The first line out of Kindrachuk comes ripe with value statements, “I’m straight but I love cheerleading,” to which he soon adds the disclaimer “even though there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with being gay,” before leading up to the eventual closing chant “cheerleading’s not just for gay boys anymore!” As the album develops, he spouts off man-crushes (“Brendan Fraser”), dabbles in dating and religion (“Molly Mormon”), and suggests a sex-change to avoid being labeled as “a gay” in “Begging For The Surgery” (I want you to be my wife… but that can never be, why don’t you become a lady, then we can adopt a baby… it’s a tiny little operation, of sexual orientation, can I convince you to get he surgery, it’s a small amount of injury, I love you Morray, but I don’t want to be a gay”). If you can make the lyrics out over the thick garage fuzz, they’re absolutely over the top in the most tongue in check way possible, and will probably make most listeners feel, a tad uneasy.

Reading Is Important sits on the proverbial fence between aggressive political statement and silly punks feeding off of shock value. It’s a tough call, because like the most effective satire, The Toros know no censor. Either way, the album will turn the heads of those giving it the time of day. Regardless of your own political views, The Toros are always entertaining, and a comical reminder as to the far reaching limits of free speech.

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