The never ending flood of records and new music is a fantastic thing. As difficult as it is to keep up with all new talent and try to catch up with stuff that no longer is new but have been on the “to listen”-list for some time – as amazing is it to keep finding new golden nuggets that already have a few albums under the belt. Latest example is this band, at least for me. “Restarter” is the forth album from Florida-born TORCHE, a debut on major label Relapse and my first real experience with the band. I’ve had them on my list to check, but never seemed to get round to it until with this new album…and to my delight, this is now a band I know I will go digging into the back catalogue of.
Because this rocks, to put it simple.
Describing the exact genre that singer/guitarist Steve Brooks, bassist Jonathan Nuñez, drummer Rick Smith and guitarist Andrew Elstner produce is not so easy as to conclude that it has grrove. TORCHE just mixes and goes with tha flow, ending up with some sort of sludgy, rocky, stoner metal that really does not fit into any subgenre – and being happy about it. Opener Annihilation Affair is disharmonic, thundering and full of attitude while the follow up Bishop In Arms have radio hit potnetial and “sing along”-qualities. Minions, Loose Men and Blasted are perhaps the best songs on the album, but the variety and the way TORCHE throws just about everything they can find at the listener makes sure that this is an album best listened to from start to finish. Over the 10 tracks that end with almost hypnotic and mesmerizing titletrack, one thing is constant: groove.
First time around with the record might require some attentive listening to find it in all tracks (some, like the mentioned Minions and Blasted are obvious and almost dangerous in their groove), perhaps as the production gives bass and drums as much space as the guitars and creates a very rumbling sound, but give it a full listen and I am certain that you want to press repeat for another go with “Restarter” almost as soon as it has ended. The album have been a constant companion in my car for the last few weeks, resulting in more or less reckless behaviour on the roads as a result of that ever present groove.
And that is, of course, a statement and a fact as good as any when discussing qualities of an album.
Adding the nice packaging (Relapse really are masters at creating nice packaging, at least when it comes to the CD-bundle), the groove and the sheer joy of having found a new band to dig in to I find it quite easy to slide to a high figure when it comes to grading the album You need TORCHE “Restarter”!
TORCHE “Restarter” = 4/5. Very Good. You need this album!