Monday, January 23, 2012

A Few Notes on Torche

The last time Miami's anthem-doom heavyweights Torche gave us a full album was 2008's groundbreaking Meanderthal, but word is they're about to hit us with another, from Volcom Entertainment, sometime around April. That's not to suggest they're a bunch of layabouts. The band -- Steve Brooks (guitar/vocals), Jonathan Nunez (bass) and Rick Smith (drums) -- created quite a stir with their 2010 EP Songs for Singles, ingratiating themselves with crowds and critics alike by imparting genuine metal-neck headaches whilst remaining thoroughly regular guys.

And then there's the matter of their musical influences, as observed by Pitchfork's Tom Breihan in his review of Songs for Singles: "The band take as many cues from ragged 1990s indie as they do from bongwater-dripping 70s crunch-rock, and you can hear echoes of Guided By Voices and Superchunk reverberating around in there."

Surely, you are thinking, this must be the typical Pitchfork practice of projecting their view of the music world onto some unsuspecting band -- and in the process totally snuffing their metal cred. And you would be absolutely right were it not for the fact less than a year later, Torche's three songs on their 2011 split 12" with English grinders Part Chimp were all Guided By Voices covers! Well done, Tom Breihan, well done.

Oh, and we're not talking about covering "Teenage FBI" here -- these are, as they say on the satellite radio, deep tracks. A few months ago I posted a live video of Torche playing "Exit Flagger" from the EP, and here are the studio versions of the other two, "Postal Blowfish" and "Unleashed! The Large-Hearted Boy."

Word also has emerged that the indispensible heavy music mag Decibel will feature a couple of unreleased Torche songs in its March issue as part of its Flexi Series. The songs are great, but even better is the fact that these little pull-out records are going to be worth meeeeellllions on Ebay in 50 or 60 years, mark my words.

You can check out the songs on Soundcloud below, and order the issue of Decibel here.

I saw them on tour with High on Fire and Kylesa a couple of years ago, and they're a ferocious live act. Be sure to catch them when they hit the road in March with two of Raleigh's legends, Corrosion of Conformity and Valient Thorr. Check here to see if they're coming to your town.

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