I have to raise my glass in mutual respect for Torbjorn Pettersson and his band. Not too many groups are willing to carry on the shiny pop torch pioneered by The Merrymakers, but The Tor Guides are thrilled to do so. Their last LP Strawberries & Chocolates was pretty sweet, and things get sweeter (and more polished) here.
The glossy opener “Dynamo” recalls ELO’s grand sweep with the tandem of pipe organ and bass guitar in a catchy head bopping melody. “Things We’ll Do Today” flows in perfectly, as light easy listening pop just made for a sunny day. “When The Stars” plays like a lost Wondermints track with its Beach Boys styled rhythm guitar. The love ballad “Apricote” does feel a little too saccharine, and reveals Torbjorns vocal limitations. Fortunately that’s the only miscue, as “Sentimental Fool” is an infectious pop gem that delivers. “Happy” is another gem that is the closest to The Merrymakers with its harmonies and rolling riffs. Torbjorn leaves the template for the four minute plus “Turquoise” and its a compelling chamber pop composition. Overall very highly recommended.