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Torche - Harmonicraft (Cover Artwork)

Torche

Torche: HarmonicraftHarmonicraft (2012)
Volcom Entertainment

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: JeloneJelone
(others by this writer | submit your own)

On record, Songs For Singles was the finest Torche release to date. It found the band focusing its sludge metal drones into something a little more radio-friendly, hence the title. It would have been one of the best releases of 1993, had it not been released in 2010. But live, Singles didn't quite j.
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On record, Songs For Singles was the finest Torche release to date. It found the band focusing its sludge metal drones into something a little more radio-friendly, hence the title. It would have been one of the best releases of 1993, had it not been released in 2010. But live, Singles didn't quite jive with Torche's older material. The songs were streamlined, but somewhat lacking in dynamics compared to Meanderthal or Torche.

Harmonicraft, then, earns the title of "best Torche release yet" by comprising everything that made old Torche stuff great, while still incorporating the alt-rock lessons learned on Singles. These tunes are alternately sludgy, drony and riffy, but got-damn are they still infectious. As great as Singles turned out--and it was pretty fucking great--Harmonicraft still makes it feel like a trial run.

"Letting Go" kicks off the record with an infectious guitar hook and propulsive percussion before a second hook, this one from the vocals, kicks in. It's pretty darn metal. "Kicking" keeps that energy up before "Walk It Off" just up and explodes with a dirty little guitar solo. Harmonicraft is laced with insistent numbers like these.

Of course, the record is many things over the course of its 37-minute running time. Tracks like "Reverse Inverted," "Roaming" and "Solitary Traveler" have a more droning, atmospheric quality. As tightly wound as the album gets overall, Torche still finds room to jam. You'd think the shift wouldn't mix well here, especially since that's what happened to the Singles material in concert, but on Harmonicraft, the two styles end up creating a nice push/pull dynamic. Individual songs don't have a quiet/loud orchestration, but when played in sequence, it sure feels that way.

For all its stabs at expanse, Harmonicraft is still a lean record. The songs never get too technical to the point of being masturbatory, nor so simple as to appear cobbled together. Really, new listeners could start with anything in Torche's discography, but Harmonicraft might be the best starting point, if only because A) it encompasses "new" and "old" Torche so well and B) it's really, really good.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
frensal (April 29, 2012)

Fantastic.

thismikeisapipebomb (April 26, 2012)

Sky Trials rips!

encorp (April 26, 2012)

The tracks I'm into on this record, I am REALLY into. They fucking rock. But there's a couple of real clunkers too.

sometwo (April 25, 2012)

Yeah I dont see how one could say that this album plods along while the others dont. I mean, it is sludge metal here. I a lot of the plodding is intentional. Still, there is much less plodding in favor of movement here than on previous albums.

MN_DrNick (April 25, 2012)

BreakfastSandwiches is obviously a Pitchfork writer.

I've listened to this album quite a few times now. I now think it's fair to say this is the best Torche album.

BreakfastSandwiches (April 25, 2012)

The Pitchfork review is spot on. This album is good, but not that fucking good. The majority of songs plod along, go nowhere, are boring and sound the same. It does have some stand out tracks, but for the most part this album is made up of mediocre songs. Meanderthal and the Self Titled are still their best albums. Songs For Singles is better than this. But it's still good! It just surprises me how many people are saying this is their best.

jelone (April 25, 2012)

Just read the pitchfork review. You have got to be fucking kidding me.

Russe11 (April 25, 2012)

pitchfork is so wrong about this album. love it.

Sometwo (April 24, 2012)

Very good album. This band will go down as legendary. LOTS like them are going to pop up over the next 10 years. Torche might not break the mainstream with their sound, but there is definitely a young songwriter out there taking notes who will.

wallofyouth (April 24, 2012)

you fuckin know i already did

MN_DrNick (April 24, 2012)

Remember when Brian said that these guys are like Foo Fighters and Queens Of The Stone Age?

Anyways, listened to the album last night. Awesome!! Love it!

Also, will wentz_equals_death buy this one?

thepasswordistaco (April 24, 2012)

a phenomenal record- im no expert on sludge, but this definitely seems to raise the bar for the entire genre. saw them live three weeks ago and it was one of those rare concert experiences where people were actually freaking out about hearing new music and not just waiting for something they already knew the lyrics to.

bryne (April 24, 2012)

This record's great. Best thing the band has done up to this point.

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