Do yourself a favor: Start listening to Torche. Seriously, get to a record store right now and buy both its full lengths, Torche and Meanderthal. Or visit myspace.com/torche. Yours is not to ask why, but simply to trust me when I say they will slay you.
Torche can easily be swept under the rug and labeled stoner or sludge or doom metal but it is so much more. Yes, it is heavy, and Torche manages to get poppy and even mathy without losing its grasp of down-tuned metal brilliance. Yeah, I said brilliance.
This is why, when I heard about the band’s show at Launchpad, I dropped everything I was doing (namely playing video games in my underwear) and got my ass to Albuquerque in like 35 minutes.
When I arrived, I sat with my Albuquerque friends and started in on some beers. With my friends was a gentleman I had never met before. He introduced himself as Steve and we all sat and talked through the first band, Judgement Day, which I can only describe as…interesting. The three-piece band is comprised of drums, cello and violin. I could tell it wanted to be metal/neo-classical or something, but I was way more into my beer than the images of Rasputina that floated in my head.
After the opening set, my new friend Steve had to go. Why? Well since I am, as they say in Latin, a dorkus malorkus, I had no idea that he was Steve Brooks, guitarist and singer for Torche! It was time for him to take the stage and wreck fools.
Oh. My. God. I don’t get starstruck very often anymore but, seeing as how Torche finds its way into my life almost daily, I almost screamed like a girl.
All the backward hats in the balcony of the Launchpad stood in stone-faced, arm-crossed boredom, as my friends and I marveled, mouths agape at these veritable new Gods of rock.
It drives me nuts sometimes when I look around a room and realize I’m the only person into a band. The all-agers downstairs applauded robotically, seemingly unaware of the incredible spectacle that unfolded before their eyes.
Steve Brooks’ performance was incredible. It was obvious he loves what he does, and his madcap stage antics were a welcome change to a genre in which bands seem to take themselves far too seriously. Drummer Rick Smith is more machine than man. I mean, this guy smashed his drums like Animal from the Muppets and never missed a beat. Bassist Jonathan Nunez completes the trio and was the only bald guy I ever saw headbang who didn’t make me feel weird.
Last up was Dredg. It sounded like a mix between that Hoobastank song “The Reason,” which was all over MTV a few years back, and Maroon 5. Y’know…sucky. This was the band everyone had come to see for some reason. Not me, though. I hightailed it out of there before the sweet taste of Torche could be taken from me.
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