Torche - Restarter (Relapse)

A pleasingly heavy restorative...
Release Date: 
23 Feb 2015 - 11:30pm

What’s in a name? For Torche, the answer to this question may be of some importance, as the band seek to reposition themselves back in the metal fold after some harmonious diversions over the last couple of releases; If they do ultimately want to be seen as a heavy band, then Restarter is indeed some sort of restarting of their career. 

Take third track Minions, for example. A simply glorious piece of ringing, melodic sludge, it brings to mind Killing Joke at their absolute crushing best; wave after wave of desensitizing riffage batter the senses, whilst guitarist/vocalist Steve Brooks offers up a mantraesque vocal that somehow adds to the barrage your ears are coming under, all the while tugging at your melodic sensibilities with it’s undeniable earworm hookiness.

Next track Loose Men is the same, yet somehow different. Faster paced, yet still just as battering, it still carries the melodic pop edge of a hundred eighties post punk identities yet never gives up on the metal. It’s a delicious mash up, irresistible both to the ears and the feet. 

Undone achieves in a minute and forty seconds what many bands take entire albums to accomplish. Drummer Rick Smith is unstoppable, here, taking the song’s brevity as an excuse to go absolutely hell for leather from woah! to go! With devastating results.

Blasted is perhaps the ace in the pack melodically, seeing the band maintaining the heaviness yet still hatching a dastardly catchy piece of uptempo punk that brings to mind Bob Mould in full flight, whilst the brooding, feedback-drenched No Servants keeps the pressure up in claustrophobic fashion. For all its twitchy unpleasantness it’s still a compelling listening prospect, especially when the song spreads its wings midway through and develops into a pleasingly rhythmic chug.

Perhaps the key weapon in Torche’s arsenal is their realisation that a lot of music released in the eighties wasn’t metal, but was undeniably powerful nonetheless whilst still having enough songcraft to attract the ears of the then still important radio programming fraternity. Their innate ability to match this crafty melodicism with their own particular brand of unforgiving riff warfare certainly gives them an edge, and Restarter will be, in the fullness of time, seen I’m sure as one of this band’s most important releases. Brilliant.