Photos by Jeremy Moore
Skullys is a great concert venue, I have to say. They host a variety of top underground acts and theme parties that bring down the house, so it is only natural that I would hear that they booked heavy rockers Torche on an otherwise lackluster Monday night.
The venue was actually packed, and the crowd restless with anticipation. It wasn’t long after we arrived that the opener, Wrong, blasted the listeners with powerful groove laden riffs and sparse bellowing lyrics. I would say they are punk gone grunge, and the distorted strumming felt like a cheese grater had swaddled your precious eardrums. I loved every second of it.
Next up were Nothing, who tracked some backing effects for their set, creating a dreamy soundscape in which to immerse listeners. As a fan of shoegaze I loved their set. The air was heavy, but the long, distorted chords and soft harmonizing vocals had a hypnotic effect on the crowd. Think early Pelican with a heavy dose of My Bloody Valentine.
I have to hand it to Torche. Their merchandise table featured incredible artwork and their new album as a vinyl release. Audiophiles and fans of album artwork would gleefully have wet themselves.
They wasted no time starting the set, wailing and riffing their way through two songs before addressing the crowd. Their music is very groove laden, reminiscent of early Pelican or Baroness, but stripped and heavily distorted. The energy in the room was vibrant and healthy, almost explosive with every cymbal crash. A couple of guys even tried to mosh during the more intense parts of the set, and the air seemed to crackle with enthusiasm.
Personally, I would love to hear them play again. Between the Bropunzels bobbing and jumping and the electric atmosphere, I was lost in the moment and couldn’t believe that the set had to come to an end. Check out Torche’s latest album, Restarter, and go rock your stupid faces off!
Note from Jeremy Moore
The album Restarter hits you hard, like really hard at first and honestly it doesn’t seem mixed right to my ears. It has a load of low end rumble and I actually shut my sub off so I could take it in a bit better. ( Am I getting old)? But I have this creeping feeling like it was intended to be that way and maybe I’m the only person on the planet who doesn’t get it. That was until I saw them live and got front and center to take some of the pictures you’ll see here in the article. The guys all have some great personality on stage and as chill as they look off stage, they bring immense power to the table when they plug in. I imagine they sell albums by the boatload at shows. This is one of those albums that I’ll plug my headphones in at work, put my head down and just…work. I judge good music by how it effects me when i’m not directly listening to it. Weird I know but it was the same way with Trivium and cycling, Dubstep and factory work, now during the day I weld and Torche will set the stage for some good steady fireworks day in and day out. Looking forward to seeing more from these guys.
Album tips: Start with #3- Minions. Listen to it two or three times. It’s my favorite song for sure and I think it sets the mood for the rest of the CD (personal preference) then I would head to the last and title track, Restarter. It’s the longest song on the album but it is killer. After that start the album back from the beginning and listen all the way through three or four times, repeat daily for best results.
Pick up Restarter from TORCHE right here!