Torche / Part Chimp - Split [12-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Torche / Part Chimp

Split [12-inch] (2011)


After the success of Torche, Meanderthal and Songs For Singles, Florida sludge-meisters Torche can pretty much do whatever they feel like, hence the three Guide By Voices covers that appear on a recent split with fellow stoner metal enthusiasts and tour buddies Part Chimp. Yeah, it's kind of random, but it's new Torche. Get into it.

Listening to Torche, one wouldn't necessarily peg Guided By Voices as a primary influence. And yet, these three songs exist as a nice bridge between GBV's lo-fi indie rock sensibilities and Torche's speed sludge metal leanings. Put it another way: these tunes are a little slow for Torche, but they pack some nice grit. "Unleashed! The Large Heart Boy" comes off feeling the most Torche-y, while opener "Exit Flagger" opens with some triumphant metal vocals before the band truly kicks in. That leaves "Postal Blowfish" as the weird track, in that it's slower and heavier than most Torche tunes. Depending on where they go from here, "Postal Blowfish" might mark the moment the group truly embraced alternative rock. Overall, Torche's half of the split makes for a nice oddity for fans.

I'll admit it; I came for the Torche tracks. But England's Part Chimp certainly delivers as well. Compared to the Torche, the group is slower and sludgier, not unlike Torche's other tourmates in 2011 like Big Business and Helms Alee. To that end, "Dr. Horse" and "The Watcher" carry Black Sabbath sludge, with some cleaner vocals a la Quicksand. At the same time, the tunes enter these more ambient indie passages. It's still fairly aggressive music, but it takes on a quality not unlike Radiohead's OK Computer. These tunes are epic and searing.