It's been almost three-and-a-half years since the release of Torche's last proper full-length, Meanderthal. Sure, in 2010, there was Songs for Singles, but that was an all-too-short EP. You can't blame the guys too much. The group, originally born in Miami and now scattered across Florida and Georgia -- spends most of its time on the road, a financial necessity for any midlevel band these days.
Good news: A new, third LP is finally forthcoming. The group has jumped ship from the ultimate sludge-underground label, Hydra Head, in favor of the music-label arm of action-sports lifestyle brand Volcom. Although the move is likely unrelated to any change in the actual music, it should be noted that the shift away from anything doomy in the band's earliest work is complete. Meanderthal was already moving toward Sonic Youth-style sounds, and since the departure of original guitarist Juan Montoya, frontman Steve Brooks seems to be going for even more (relatively) sunny sounds.
Torche released a new single from the album yesterday titled "Kicking," and it's a sweet, fairly '90s-style anthem that makes liberal use of -- gasp -- major chords. Download it below via Pitchfork in advance of the new album, Harmonicraft, which is due out April 24 and boasts some pretty amazing album artwork.
Meanwhile, diehard Torche fans should note that Brooks will be playing a show with his former band, Floor, on February 24 at Churchill's in Miami. That act's cult status has now elevated to the extent that it's featured on the bill for the annual All Tomorrow's Parties I'll Be Your Mirror festival in London in May, where it'll share the stage with bands like Slayer and Mogwai.
Download: Torche - "Kicking"
Follow County Grind on Facebook and Twitter: @CountyGrind.