Kerrang: Customized Review


Kerrang! Magazine Date Unknown

Written By Geoff Barton


The name sounds like an Austin-Rover rustbucket I know, and you’d be forgiven for thinking that the title “Customized” refers to optional extras like aerodynamic mudflaps and bronze-tinted wheelnuts.

However, all this became irrelevant as soon as I wuz hit by the heart-palpitatin’ realization that Torino contain one Paul Diamond playin’ the bass, a man who once high-heel-teetered ‘n’ teased as past of God-like Mancunian Glam merchants Rox!

Yep, fronted by the semi-legendary Kick-Ass Kevin Kozak and featuring other such teen dream tasties as Bernie Emerald and Red Hot Red, for a brief period in the early 80’s, Rock seemed to be on the verge of actually doing something…or other.

Remember ’em supporting Quiet Riot in the UK in 1983 (albeit minus Kick-Ass Kev, who have been given the boot by then and replaced by Mark Savage)? Remember their “Krazy Kutz” EP released by Music For Nations in the same year? No? Ah, well…

Back to Torino. This lot are basically a Liverpool-based quartet who would love to be Bon Jovi. Now, I don’t usually go a bundle on the current proliferation of Brit-bands-wot-sound-American, but it has to be said that “Customized” is a pretty damn fine all-round effort. Trax like “Out Of The Fire,” “Call Of The Wild” and “Never Surrender” are all lovably crass stabs at recreatin’ US Arena Rock.

Elsewhere, Torino really score with “Dance Crazy” (an unbelievable rip-off of the Crue’s “Dancing On Glass”), “Boys Go Wild (with the Marillionesque hookline of “Boys go wild/Girls get crazy”), “Take My Heart Away” (a real raise-your-hands romper) and the obligatory tear-jerkin’ ballad, “Surrender.”

Good, chunky guitaring from Barry McKeown, rough-edged vocals from Stuart Fox and (natch) virtuoso Billy Sheehan-style bass work from Paul “Diamond Geezer” Diamond make this a decidedly decent release. Special praise also to Shy singer Mrs. Tony Mills’ backin’ vocals…probably his best performance on vinyl ever, I kid you not!

The album biography sez that “Customized is destined to place Torino on the rock ‘n’ roll map.” Only time will tell if we’re talkin’ worldwide cartography here, or merely a foldaway street plan of Hounslow, Middlesex.”

KKK & 3/4 For the record

KKKKK For there being an ex-member of Rox in the band