Torche – Songs For Singles

By Kyle Harcott

Well… it’s short. At twenty-one minutes, Songs For Singles can really only be considered a taste of what’s to come more than anything else. Miami’s Torche almost seem hell-bent on rushing these tracks out as a late follow-up to Meanderthal so they can get back to plotting their options for the next full-length. Still, Torche whips up melodic sludgecore better than most – Songs For Singles is more of that tried-and-true, hooky, groove-laden Torche formula, albeit shorter (eight songs, most of them under the 2½-minute mark) and decidedly more to the melodic side of things than on previous efforts.

“UFO” is bombastic, a great choice to open the EP, treading close to Sweet Cobra guitarritory in the chorus, but before it even really gets going, the track’s finished and out the door. “Lay Low” is a great crash through the underbrush, but at 52 seconds long it is more of an interlude than anything else. Similarly, “Arrowhead” is a thudding departure from the rest of the EP, recalling the heavier side of Torche that’s previously reared its head, but again the common complaint – the track’s too short to really dig into. “Cast Into Unknown”, with those piercing, brilliant Dinosaur Jr. hooks and riffs, is about as far a departure from the mud-and-thunder of Meanderthal as possible. “Face The Wall” is a little moodier, with sheet-lightning riffs cast down from a heavier branch of the shoegaze tree. Finally, closer “Out Again” is the polar opposite of the rest of the quick-burst tracks, with some truly lush harmonies framing the song’s chorus – but its repetitious, instrumental outro goes on about two-and-a-half minutes too long to my ears, especially after the rapid-fire, short-attention-span pace of the rest of the EP.

As far as the Torche sound goes, Songs For Singles is a breakthrough; there have been hints of veering off in this direction from the beginning, but Torche have really nailed it down here. Though I’d have been just as happy to wait for a full-length, at 21 minutes, this feels like more a tease than anything.

www.myspace.com/torche

(Hydra Head)

Sean Palmerston

Sean is the founder/publisher of Hellbound.ca; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.