Torche Torche

Torche Torche
After Floor’s decade-long struggle for existence ended on a high note last year with the long-awaited release of their shelved 1994 debut Dove, Miami-based guitarists Steve Brooks and Juan Montoya (both of whom played in Cavity) took the advice of a fan, namely Robotic Empire label founder Andy Low, and began jamming with ex-Tyranny of Shaw drummer Rick Smith and bassist Jon Nuñez. The result is not so much Floor mimesis as it is an evolution of that sound toward less poppy climes. After some muffled implosions, the depth-charge guitar/bass interplay of "Charge of the Brown Recluse” begins like slow-mo Floor, as Brooks’ ever-pleasing, melodic vocals return to weigh anchor. The rapid, gargantuan beats of "Safe” start out like High on Fire then settle into those soaring vocal harmonies that are so sorely missed in today’s aggressive music. "Mentor” and especially "Vampyro” could be holdovers from sessions for Floor’s 2002 self-titled album, while the wonderfully harmonious "Erase” sounds like Nirvana covering the Byrds. "Fuck Addict” is deliberately ingenious, but at the same time spacey and psychedelic with pedal effects like Oversoul or even Nebula, building up tension until it explodes in a shockwave of melodic dissonance like Meantime-era Helmet. "Holy Roar” reprises that bomb-laden guitar that sounds like a rusty WWII bomb going off, and the nine-minute album closer "The Last Word” is reminiscent of Bluebird’s moody Black Presence. With the prevailing winds of change at their backs, Torche couldn’t have been launched at a more propitious time for their signature "thunder pop.” With Brooks once again at the helm, this debut will glide effortlessly onto many of the year’s best-of lists in metal and rock. (Robotic Empire)