Thursday, April 10, 2008

Pastepunk reviews Torche's "Meanderthal!"

huge thanks to Alex Harisiadis and the entire Pastepunk staff!

(Hydra Head)

TORCHE have always been regarded for their crushing, heavy sound. However, with the appropriately named Meanderthal, we find TORCHE offering up a unique slate of songs that meander from outstanding pop to the neanderthalic and monolithic heaviness that we have come to expect from them.

Meanderthal sees TORCHE really moving in a direction of their own and leaving behind the memory of frontman Steve Brooks’ former band FLOOR. On their self-titled debut, the majority of tracks were weed-soaked jams laced with feedback and reverb, with the occasional uptempo track like “Fire” shining through. That song, along with tracks like “In Return” and “Rule The Beast” from the In Return EP, foreshadowed the best aspects of Meanderthal - the upbeat songs with an underlying sense of gravity and vocals reminiscent of Dave Grohl. I have always believed that songs were TORCHE’s strongest suit, and on Meanderthal, songs such as “Healer”, and “Pirana” prove that very notion. One of Meanderthal’s best is the song “Fat Waves”, a track which starts off as an uptempo jam loaded with hooks and, then on a dime, you are face to face with an angry Orange amp and a delay pedal.

TORCHE have solidly planted their flag in the realm of heavy music with Meanderthal, but this album seeks to achieve something greater. With its impeccable Kurt Ballou production, it truly does have something for everyone – from pop gems for the FALL OUT BOY-listening set to intimidating, one note bass bombs (see: album title track) for those who may have been fans of the late YOB. With this sharp and superbly-written album, TORCHE are poised to become a household name, and are easily in the running for best of 2008.