Hydra Head Records
08 April 2008
by Ryan Williams
Torche have reached that level of critical acclaim now where they have been labeled to high heaven. The Floridian quartet have been labeled as everything from ‘stoner pop’ to ‘thunder rock’ to ‘doom pop’, according to Wikipedia. The truth of the matter is that they are all perfectly reasonable descriptors.
The sleepy, distorted guitars give rise to the stoner- and doom-isms while vocalist Steve Books’ gritty but clean, often harmonized voice make the ears prick up to some very accessible (pop) vocal melodies. Torche have nailed both of these facets perfectly on Meanderthal.
They’ve got six-minute songs which display their funky-yet-expansive, epic leanings in ‘Amnesian’ as well as the frantic 90-second instrumental bluster of opening track ‘Triumph Of Venus’, but Torche really come into their own when they settle down on a regular three-minute affair.
‘Grenades’ and ‘Across The Shield’ find Torche at their controlled best. Huge, soaring verses with intricate guitars and even huger choruses are complemented by that distorted guitar sound whose fuzz is not removed or even reduced by the production.
Andy Williams, guitarist from highly influential Buffalo, New York hardcore band Every Time I Die has already described listening to this album like listening to Nirvana’s Nevermind for the first time, but what do you think?
Torche – Meanderthal is out now on Hydra Head Records