Torche - Harmonslaught [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Harmonslaught [7-inch] (2012)


Torche's 2012 full-length Harmonicraft made a slew of year-end lists–including a few on this very site–and with good reason. Harmonicraft satisfied the need of every Torche fan that might love the band for different reasons, whether it's their pulverizing heaviness, their calculated catchiness or a combination of the two (NOTE: It's usually a combination). At the end of the year, one thing we could all agree on was that we should be listening to more Torche.

Hark! Here is more Torche. The band recently dropped a new two-song 7-inch titled Harmonslaught via their own Amnesian Records, distributed by No Idea. It's a fairly logical extension of what the band accomplished on the similarly named Harmonicraft, with all the positively meaty beats we've come to expect from them as fans. The A-side and title track resides on the lowest of low ends, with a reverberating bass line accounting for the bulk of its heaviness. The guitar tones in the chorus, if it could even be called a chorus, give the song a palpable sense of bleakness that may have been lost had this song appeared on Harmonicraft. That's an important distinction; it could just be the difference in format, but "Harmonslaught" arguably hits harder–much harder–than anything else in Torche's discography.

As its title might suggest, the B-side "Rock ‘N' Roll Mantasy" is a little more fun and less powerful in its aesthetic. Here, Torche take their gleaming pop-metal sensibilities and throw out a lot of the crunch inherent in most of their work. It's a plodding track that, save Steve Brooks' omnipresent vocals and a fairly heavy midsection, is more Van Halen than High On Fire, though the confluence of those two names make a pretty solid device for explaining Torche's appeal.

The vinyl release of Harmonslaught was limited and is likely sold out now, but the band have made it available digitally for a measly two dollars. It's worth it.