Torche
Meanderthal


4.0
excellent

Review

by Dan Smith USER (74 Reviews)
June 6th, 2008 | 83 replies | 17,919 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Torche return with 13 tracks of sun-drenched stoner-pop mayhem.

6 of 6 thought this review was well written

The way I see it, there are two main genres that can make the perfect soundtrack to a summer's day - pop-punk (especially the ska-tinged side of it) and desert rock. Spending the day in the park, kicking a ball around, drinking, and generally having a laugh with a few mates should naturally be accompanied by the bouncy, cheery sounds of cheery pop-punk, until everyone heads back to the garden of whoever lives nearest town to fire up the barbecue, crack open a few more cans, and lounge around listening to a bit of Kyuss as the sun starts to set. Damn, if only Torche had been around in the early 2000s, it's a fair bet that Meanderthal would never have left my boombox for the entirety of the summer, providing as it does both the mellifluous grooves and laid-back mood of Sky Valley era Kyuss and the catchy, upbeat melodies of 90s pop-punk.

Take first song proper "Grenades" - thick, downtuned riffs bubble up and flow like crude oil, with guitar leads shimmering above them like heat haze off an asphalt road, not to mention a solid rhythmic backbone and the soaring vocal melodies and harmonies topping it all off. Similarly, "Sandstorm" and "Without a Sound" bring the low-end rumbles and relatively slow pace you'd associate with the finest of stoner-rock, again tempering it with some huge melodies. The "Melvins-go-pop" tag that some have given Torche in the past sums up the feel of these songs pretty well.

That said, Meanderthal has enough twists and turns to keep you on your feet throughout, upping the tempo considerably, with tracks like "Speed of the Nail" and personal favourite "Healer" coming on like prime mid-90s EpiFat skatepunk. Conversely, the band slow to a snail's pace, and largely dispense with the pop sensibilities for the (admittedly slightly over-long) "Amnesian." Intro track "Triumph of Venus" features some guitarwork eerily reminiscent of The Fall of Troy, and hell, "Sundown" even comes across at times like a stoned nephew of Jawbreaker's classic "Accident Prone," in terms of instrumentation - an unusual comparison to make between such vastly different bands, but not an uncomplimentary one!

It's this broad range of influences, and the band's willingness to explore every area of their fairly unique sound, which makes Meanderthal such a versatile and enjoyable record. With a slightly less sludgy production job than their previous work (courtesy of Kurt Ballou, who also contributes a few guitar parts) and a heightened songwriting ability, Torche have crafted a record which (aside from the largely pointless title track) is instantly brilliant, and yet still yields rewards with multiple listens. Time to fire up the grill and the stereo, crack open a beer, sit back, and relax to the soundtrack to Summer 2008.



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user ratings (248)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
spoon_of_grimbo
June 6th 2008



2240 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

http://www.torche-meanderthal.com

^full stream there for those who fancy a listen!

Rumpelnostran
June 6th 2008



22 Comments


sounds interesting. have a vote. ^^

any14doomsday
June 6th 2008



679 Comments


This is the album I was waiting for torche to make. The drumming on this one is killer! Im really looking forward to seeing them open for Boris

spoon_of_grimbo
June 6th 2008



2240 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

actually, i should've mentioned that, the drumming is pretty impressive!

JumpTheF**kUp
June 6th 2008



2710 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Fat Waves is a great track.

combustion07
June 6th 2008



5343 Comments


I've heard Charge Of The Brown Recluse and I loved it, I'll check this out too.

WarAllTheTime988
June 6th 2008



360 Comments


This has some really great stuff on it! I bought this the day it came out on complete accident because it looked pretty cool and I had heard their name tossed around quite a bit...quite an enjoyable listen!

Eliminator
June 6th 2008



2067 Comments


sucks

spoon_of_grimbo
June 6th 2008



2240 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

what sucks? the album? the review? your ability to write a worthwhile/coherent comment? care to elaborate?

Eliminator
June 6th 2008



2067 Comments


eliminator

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
June 6th 2008



17920 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

care to elaborate sucks

Eliminator
June 6th 2008



2067 Comments


i can suck yo titties in an alebarote fashion

Altmer
June 6th 2008



5652 Comments


i doubt anyone would want you to suck their titties elim

Eliminator
June 6th 2008



2067 Comments


u obv dont know chan very well

Altmer
June 6th 2008



5652 Comments


i wouldnt suck his titties

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
June 6th 2008



17920 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

; D

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
June 6th 2008



17920 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

faggot ass negroid getting the way

spoon_of_grimbo
June 6th 2008



2240 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

how the fuck do you not get banned chan? i've seen you do nothing but fucking spam people's reviews all the time.

SHOOTME
June 10th 2008



2393 Comments


the reason Chan isn't banned is because Chan is freaking hilarous.

JAV
July 6th 2008



1923 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This album is awesome, just some of the songs are too short.



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