It's been an interesting year for South Florida thunder-slinging pop metalheads Torche. The group got their gear stolen while on tour with Coheed and Cambria (stolen loot included passports so they couldn't follow C&C into Canada); they landed a spot on Fox News' Red Eye after the politically-insufferable-though-musically-tolerable host Greg Gutfeld, a self-identified heavy music lover and Torche fan, saw the band open for High on Fire and Kylesa; and lastly, while on Red Eye, they were endorsed as the "world's greatest band" by the show's "resident doom metal expert," the uber-social-conservative presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee -- never mind that lead singer Steve Brooks is openly gay, and, well, that Torche isn't really a doom metal band.
This year also marks their first releases since guitarist Juan Montoya's departure: a split with noise rockers Boris called Chapter Ahead of Being Fake, and their eight-song EP Songs for Singles.
Although the members boast a heavy, heady pedigree including Floor and
Cavity, things have gotten much happier since those days -- and with
Torche's sound in general. Songs proves a groove-laden mix of
"heavier" pop with eight tracks clocking in at around 27 teeny minutes!
Guitars crunch, Brooks' echo-y vocals soar, and uplifting musical
phrasing result in a fuzzy cocktail that, especially on "Shine On My Old
Ways" and closer "Out Again," is infectiously cheery. Single "Face the
Wall" boasts a bit more atmosphere, slowed down and meaty, but
whatever. Songs may not have a lot of gut, but there's definitely loads of glory.
Top Track: "Shine On My Old Ways"