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Torche: In Return EP

Torche: In Return EP

Label:Robotic Empire
Release Date:2007
Genre:Hard Rock/Metal

By Lee Gardner | Posted 12/26/2007

Several iterations back on the big wall chart of rock evolution, the stoopid and hairy Melvins stood up a little straighter and begat Bleach-era Nirvana: sonic sludge, but tuneful sludge. That whole line took off on its own explosive fur-shedding, Butch Vig-using development, the rest is history, etc., leaving that particular species to dead-end, more or less. Now Miami's Torche takes up the, well, you know, with an EP that puts borderline winsome melodies back together with headbanging doom. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups have got nothing on In Return.

Torche's metal credentials are impeccable, having descended from Sunshine State stomper Floor; former Floor singer/guitarist Steve Brooks also brought with him "the bomb string," a top string so detuned that it creates a detonation more than a note. Yet Brooks' voice here, while still metal shout-y, hits actual notes, and those notes are often arranged in pleasing ways. Thus the pummeling title track sends woofers fluttering like hummingbird wings, but try not to hum along the second time you hear it; a pit-stirring stop-time coda wraps things up in under two and a half minutes, but the effect is still more pop head-bop than -bang. "Tarpit Carnivore" is almost comically heavy, bomb-string bombs carpeting the lurching track as Brooks cheekily hollers a litany of long-gone beasts likely to be found in the title trap. The rest of the seven short tracks encompass plenty of double-kick thunder and stonerific riffs, but also glittering neo-power ballad "Bring Me Home."

Torche released a self-titled album in 2005 using the same basic blueprint, but it sounded like the work of just another rock band. In Return sounds like something special, a group evolving and building on its strengths. The title of its forthcoming follow-up album? Meanderthal

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