While there were no personnel changes for Yes after Going For The One, Tormato features a markedly different sound. Rick Wakeman ditched his mellotrons and instead utilises high pitched synthesiser parts, while Chris Squire uses effects pedals on his bass. Along with an astonishingly high track count (eight songs!), it feels like Yes are updating to fit in with new wave, but in hindsight Tormato is the most dated and least dignified of their seventies releases.
Compounding the problem, it’s also their hokiest bunch of lyrics from the period, with songs like ‘Arriving UFO’ and ‘Circus of Heaven’. It’s a difficult album to warm to, but it’s not without its share of strong tunes. The highlight is Squire’s love song ‘Onward’ – as with everything on the album, it’s a little cheesy – but it’s pretty and heartfelt. Elsewhere, ‘Don’t Kill The Whale’ is also lacking in dignity, but Steve Howe’s leads are especially enjoyable, while ‘Release Release’ is a strong melody even if the crowd noises are off-putting.
Tormato certainly has a lot of issues, but there’s just enough of the classic Yes to make it worth checking out.