Torche at Propaganda 3/26

Is Torche a metal band? Depends on whom you ask. Despite their pop leanings and lead singer/guitarist Steve Brooks' repeated claims that Torche is not a metal band, their fan base consists largely of stoner-rock and postmetal fans. Why? Well, first, Torche is signed to Hydra Head Records, the mostly metal label founded in 1993 by Isis frontman Aaron Turner. Second, Brooks' former band, Floor, had a much sludgier, metallic bent. As a result, Brooks and his Torche bandmates find themselves in the odd position of playing two-minute pop songs for fans more accustomed to ten-minute postrock epics.

Yet somehow, it works. Really well, actually. It's not just metal fans eating up Torche's sugary pop anthems either. Both indie tastemakers (Pitchfork) and the mainstream rock media (Spin) gave high marks to the band's 2008 effort, Meanderthal. Torche's just-released EP, Songs for Singles, is very much in the same vein.

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Mike R. Meyer