Layers: That English Degree Reaps Rewards on TORIO VAN GROL’s Debut Album “Magic Knees”
On his debut comedy album “Magic Knees,” we learn TORIO VAN GROL suffers from anxiety. Well, you would never be able to tell from the gobs of confidence he exhibits interacting with a receptive, and IT heavy San Francisco crowd. I guess the Xanax is working! Van Grol made his way to the Bay area via San Deigo, and has tended bar in the city while he’s honed his craft, moving up the comedy ladder from open mics to showcases. On the new album, Van Grol has plenty of fun with his audience, finding every opportunity to adapt the information he extracts from them to his set. Of course, you don’t have to be a Silicon Valley type to comprehend Torio’s comedy. Magic Knees covers a host of topics, ranging from relationship woes to unintentional highs (where the album title plays a role) to “God’s Plan.” More on that last one later.
The highlights of the album (in my humble opinion) include going to extreme lengths to impress a date (“Medium” track), the hand cleansing showdown in a gender neutral bathroom (“(Not) Born & Raised in San Francisco”), trolling the crowd for an important online form fix (“Pangea”), the single vs double IPA question (“Day Bartender”), blaming Maroon 5 for the financial meltdown (“English Degree”), and finding out who’s been hoarding all the men’s gym shorts (“Gym Short”). Now back to “God’s Plan. No, I don’t have any end of the world insight, but I do need to tell you that Torio’s biblical caveman bit about that Genesis line “Then God said, let us make man in our image” was so funny to me because I imagined reaching the pearly gates and finding out that a Geico character was my true creator. You’ll probably have a different visual, but I thought I’d help it along. Mr. Van Grol, we like how you think, and we sure hope audiences will enjoy more of your work in 2020. Happy New Year!