THE TOR GUIDES (Futureman Records) - Östersund, Sweden
THE TOR GUIDES is the nom de guerre of Torbjorn Pettersson – now what kind of name is that? Hailing from Sweden, Tobbe (as he's also known) released his first single in 1982, heavily influenced by the new wave of the time. Many years later in 2007, never having ceased writing or home recording, he would release his first full length album, Honeybees and Tangerines. The record was attributed to the fictitious “group” The Tor Guides, a name to which Pettersson has returned ever since. The song “You (And Everything You Do)” eventually found its way to Justin Fielding´s excellent indie movie Inventory, where it kicked off the end credits. The second Tor Guides album Strawberries and Chocolates appeared in 2012 to critical acclaim, with International Pop Overthrow impresario David Bash deeming it the year´s fourth best album. The last album under the Tor Guides 2013's Lots of the Pops, was released was similarly lauded. Since then Torbjorn´s been busy participating in different collaborations, working in the Theme Music community and with Keith Klingensmith (The Legal Matters), John Borack (Popdudes, The Test Pressings) and Herb Eimerman as The Slapbacks, amongst other one-off covers and originals which have surfaced on such compilations as the excellent This is Rock´n Roll Radio Volume 4 from 2018 (curated by Carl Cafarelli and Dana Bonn and released on Kool Kat Musik).
The new album (and the first release on Futureman Records to use The Tor Guides moniker) is Backwards in Reverse. It was initially a “write and record album in a month” project that blossomed into a full-blown work of its own. Co-produced and mixed by Joel Boyea, it is in a way a return to Pettersson's roots: for the first time, it includes cover versions, in the spirit of the Theme Music collaborations: Pilot´s “Just a Smile” and Wizzard´s “See My Baby Jive”, both a bit twisted around, in homage to the '70s that in many ways formed Tobbe's musical taste. They're joined by nine original in the pure pop style for which Pettersson by any name has become justly renowned. As the man himself proclaims. “From now on, backwards in reverse is the only way to proceed!”