Tora Tora Tora 

No musician is immune to criticism that he or she is the sum of influences -- after all, one is first inspired to play music after hearing it. But bands who aspire to the dark-hued tones of late-'70s and early '80s post-punk have it tougher than most. Just ask Gabriel Cendoma, lead singer of Tora Tora Tora.

"We've gotten Joy Division more than once," says Cendoma. "I think, in our age group, that everyone has some sort of musical influence from the '80s." But he doesn't think that era is necessarily a major factor in the band's sound. Indeed, Tora Tora Tora's songs are dark, uptempo and propulsive, but hardly intellectual and depressive, and Cendoma addresses his life's various dramas with energetic abandon. His lyrics, he says, are usually about "growing up, falling in love, breaking up, and getting drunk," he says.

Guitarist/singer Cendoma, drummer Wes McCart, and bassist Jamie Wolfcale have performed shows around town since the fall of 2004. Wolfcale got the band's name from a famous World War II film dramatizing the attack on Pearl Harbor.

"I've never really been in a band before this," says Cendoma, who adds that his bandmates have played with other groups before. Tora Tora Tora's progress, which recently led to booking studio time and completing work on a self-titled demo EP, is an evolution from "just hanging out and drinking," he says. "Now, we're still hanging out and drinking, but we're actually playing a show."

Of course, Tora Tora Tora usually goes on stage before they drink alcohol. Playing while you're drunk, advises Cendoma, "is a very slippery slope."

Tora Tora Tora, with Girls on Film, plays Lenny's Fri., Feb. 10, 9 p.m. $6. 307 Memorial Drive. 404-577-7721.



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