Torche
Harmonicraft


4.5
superb

Review

by Greg Fisher STAFF
April 18th, 2012 | 271 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Torche expand their musical horizons crafting an album that's a real treat within the realm of stoner rock.

It's particularly striking how effective Torche have been when it comes to carving their own niche within the realm of stoner rock. Once exploring the bludgeoning sludge genre, Miami-based outfit transformed their style quite significantly on their previous full-length album Meanderthal. Namely, they incorporated a multitude of various pop and alternative rock influences into their work, which resulted in a new, truly refreshing brand of heavy rock, adorably categorized as stoner pop by the band and critics alike. As well-crafted as Meanderthal and the EP that followed were, Harmonicraft brings the act's signature style to the new heights. While delving into several new exciting musical territories on occasion, the album retains Torche's aptitude for crafting arresting pop-induced tunes that abound with empowering melodies as well as distinctively upbeat musicianship.

The songs may still be short and up-to-the-point, yet there's hardly anything rudimentary about them. Every single track is proficiently executed combining fuzzed-out guitar play and constantly pulsating rhythm section with hyper-melodic, often infectiously angular vocals. More than any of their previous releases, Harmonicraft relies on adventurous dynamics which give a welcome sense of urgency to the majority of tracks. Soundgarden echoing “Letting Go” is a perfect opener which sets the uplifting tone for the entire record. “Kicking” follows suit with its markedly infectious vocal melodies and stomping rhythms, while “Walk It Off” showcases the punk rock vibe due to its ultra-fast pace. In contrast, “Reverse Inverted” would work as a perfect counterpart to Unsane's “No Chance” with its wonderfully dissonant guitar soloing that builds to a harmonious Southern rock climax. “In Pieces” brings a welcome shift in atmospherics evoking a sinister vibe with its angular approach to rhythm and enigmatic vocal delivery that instantly recall Melvins.

While the rest of the disc rather effortlessly combines the stoner rock arrangements with pop aesthetics embracing both sheer heaviness and lofty melodies in equal measure, Torche manage to surprise in the last quarter of the disc with a couple of notably different tracks. “Solitary Traveler” marks their foray into a doom metal territory blending eminent slow pace with dreamy, shoegaze inclined guitarwork to soothing effect, whereas the instrumental title track boasts a captivating, bizarrely mechanical rhythmic pattern. With its drone tendencies and lumbering tone, “Looking On” might be a by-the-numbers closer for the stoner rock album, yet its less-is-more approach brings a sense of relief to the album that's packed with ideas.

One can argue that the greatest virtue of Torche is that they can appeal to every music fan by means of the huge spectrum of influences that their music encompasses. Bearing in mind their omnipresent pop tendencies, they also happen to be an ideal introductory act for someone who is a novice to the ever-growing genre of stoner rock. Harmonicraft solidifies the quartet's enviable reputation as one of the most note-worthy heavy rock outfits working today. The album is so meticulously crafted and emotionally resonant that it may even break new ground for the band in terms of mainstream popularity. They've been deserving conspicuous success for way too long now.



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user ratings (300)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
greg84
Staff Reviewer
April 18th 2012


7432 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The stream:

http://www.spin.com/articles/hear-torches-epic-harmonicraft-miamis-finest-break-down-new-lp

Digging: Wildbirds & Peacedrums - Rhythm

scissorlocked
April 18th 2012


3511 Comments


nice read as always man

They've been deserving conspicuous success for way too long now.

this is so true, I'll be digging this anytime soon


Digging: Distance - Outer Limits

Decapod
April 18th 2012


1011 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Diggin the fuck out of this album. Great review meng.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
April 18th 2012


3483 Comments


This is really cool, I love how the songs are so short and some of them are fast paced, but still they don't sound forced but rather loose. Reverse Inverted, Solitary Traveler, Walk It Off & Kicking sound so good. Great review as always! Pos.
One slight drawback is that the drums are drowned sometimes under the guitars. Still, the murky production is cool.

Digging: Brant Bjork - Black Flower Power

MalleusMaleficarum
April 18th 2012


14368 Comments


love me some Torche

chambered69
April 18th 2012


1253 Comments


im annoyed that i cant say lol death grips anymore



lol exmilitary

MalleusMaleficarum
April 18th 2012


14368 Comments


it was only a matter of time til u hopped on the bandwagon

chambered69
April 18th 2012


1253 Comments


3-3.5 = bandwagon?

MalleusMaleficarum
April 18th 2012


14368 Comments


people always rate things low @ first when theyre scared of being spotted jumping on the bandwagon

public strain @ 2.5

chambered69
April 18th 2012


1253 Comments


lol ur an idiot

MalleusMaleficarum
April 18th 2012


14368 Comments


brb death grips

chambered69
April 18th 2012


1253 Comments


k

greg84
Staff Reviewer
April 18th 2012


7432 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks guys. This is an ideal summer album. A 4-4.5 imo.

Photon
April 18th 2012


1292 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Not as good as Meanderthal, but still a great listen . these guys never disappoint and put on a hell of a live performance as well.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
April 18th 2012


7432 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I actually prefer this to Meanderthal. It's much more diverse.

MutnikSpusic
April 18th 2012


560 Comments


review is ace, should be featured

WatchItExplode
April 18th 2012


3303 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, better get on this.

CaptainDooRight
April 18th 2012


30249 Comments


I may have to check this. Stoner rock sometimes wins. We'll see.

Nikkolae
April 18th 2012


4866 Comments


this guys followed me on twitter yesterday, i guess i should really listen to this, review was nice btw.

Digging: Giant - Song

greg84
Staff Reviewer
April 18th 2012


7432 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@CaptainDooRight
Wrong. Stoner rock always wins!

@Nikkolae:
Thanks a bunch.




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