July 2, 2013 by Dan Swinhoe
I’ve never been entirely sure about my feelings on the bubblegum-metal band Torche. On the one hand, the Miami, Florida three-piece deliver meaty, monolithic riffs by the bucketload. On the other, however, their sickly-sweet melodies often prove too much to listen to beyond a handful of tracks.
The band followed up last year’s critically acclaimed Harmonicraft,with the two-track Harmonslaught EP, and in now in ‘Keep Up’ b/w ‘Leather Feather’, they’ve delivered another solid helping of what Torche do best.
Released as part of Volcom’s Vinyl Club singles series, the two new tracks on offer are very contrasting. Keep Up is standard Torche fair; brief feedback resonates before insanely upbeat chords and vocals come in, the smiley-pop of Harmonicraft present and correct in all it’s glory. It’s a fairly simple song, mid-paced and unchanging, but is brief so doesn’t outstay its welcome.
Leather Feather is more interesting. Opening with the kind of big, rhythmically-hypnotic riff Taint used to revel in, it lacks any of the pop sheen on Keep Up. Instead it’s more in line with the likes of the Melvins; thundering drums, droll vocals, and focused entirely on the sludgey stoner riff. A real quality track.
I’m still unconvinced on Torche. ‘Keep Up’ b/w ‘Leather Feather’ sees them doing what they do best in mixing the heavy with the bubblegum melodies, but also demonstrates they don’t have to rely on their tag as the only Pop-Sludge band in existence to make a good song. Well worth a few listens.