A native of Maine, 21 Year old singer-songwriter, Torin Muccino began working towards his musical career at just 16 years of age when he started playing guitar and writing songs. Of course he was lucky to have his dad – Chris Muccino, a guitarist and keyboard musician, who played with Liquid Daydream and later with Endless Interstate – as a musical ally. Torin picked up the basics from Chris and developed the rest by himself.
He also explored other forms of artistic expression like painting and drawing, and during his time in Austin Texas, landed a role in a music video clip before being cast as an extra on AMC’s hit TV show, ‘The Son’. It was also during his time in Austin that Torin put together the tracks that would make up the nine track set for his debut album.
The album “For the Times”, was recorded between May and August, and then released during October of this year. Torin sings and plays electric and acoustic rhythm and lead guitar, along with a series of seasoned musicians which include, Jordan Warsky (drums and percussion), Tony McNaboe (drums and keyboards), Jon Roods (bass), Dan Bodmer (bass) and Chris Muccino (electric slide guitar, keyboards, and synths).
The record was produced and mixed by Tony Gatti, Chris and Torin, while father and son also created the cover design and layout. The overriding tone of this collection of songs is one of lo-fi- psychedelic warmth. It’s there in the vocals, in the affable, conversational style of the jangling opener ‘No More’ and the sweet bluesy delivery of ‘Control’, in the pointed stabs of strummed guitars in ‘For the Times’, and in the mellow groove of the organic swing of ‘Jackie’.
Running alongside that, though, is a hugely entertaining cut-and-switch grab-bag of styles and moods. So one minute you’ll be settling into a low-key acoustic lead-in only to be hit with a superbly psychedelic guitar mash-up, with luscious deliveries of Torin Muccino’s characteristic vocal inebriations to keep you totally captivated.
‘Run’ starts out like a low-key live solo performance then smacks you around the face with more of that out-there guitar, an improvised solo rounding out the song in fine, fried style. All throughout these tracks, Torin manages that trick of sounding sweet, tuneful, gentle and uplifting whilst being sufficiently oblique to sidestep easy pigeonholing.
A perfect example would be “Hands to the Fire” which shows that there’s no shortage of imaginative arrangements and knotty melodies here. There’s a deceptively intricate intertwining of guitars, rhythms and vocals weighing in against the cryptic narrative.
By the time you’re halfway through the smooth melodic roll of “Keeping Secrets”, it’s hard to think of a moment where Torin has performed in anything that was less than excellent here, never mind average. The laid-back, clean guitar strum of “Out Loud”, with its heartfelt and soulful vocals, only confirms this sensation.
Like the rest of the album, “What I Used To Be”, is warm, organic and approachable, filled with content to unassumingly indulge Torin Muccino’s psychedelic, kaleidoscopic and seemingly nonchalant musical vision. When this album is good, it’s sublimely superb, and on those rare occasions when it’s more arbitrary and willfully capricious – it’s fucking great as well!