Torche - Restarter (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Restarter (2015)


There are few bands that demand your attention like Torche do. Every single second of every single intro digs deep into you and makes sure you're taking note as to why this band's got its hooks sunk in -- which hits you as each track progresses. Restarter has tall shoes to fill as it comes on the heels of 2012's Harmonicraft and when it comes to the latter, it was always gonna be tough to top it. While the 2012 release felt like the most complete and self-distinguishing piece of work to date that substantially differentiated Torche from the past, it's a damn pleasure to state how much Restarter continues to push the NOS button and races off into the band's new era. Perfect build on the foundation they laid with a few tracks in 2013 as well.

It's more straightforward musically but is rife with all the tension/resolution intricacies and musical dynamics that separated the band from the Floor days and no doubt, is another crucial element in their formative identity marching forward. Sludgier? Yes. Dirtier. Heavier. Much more hard. Everything's more assertive here. Thundering drums, unconventional guitar melodies and even the little nods to the days of Floor. Everything feels like Torche took the gloves off. "Annihilation Affair" as the opener sets this mood from the get-go and barrels through a series of distorted bangers -- "Bishop In Arms" and "Minions" are great examples to extend this. The latter's my favorite as it feels like a sequel to "Sister Sophia" from last year's Oblation.

This brings me to another big statement I've always wanted to make and that's how it'll never be possible to separate Floor from Torche completely. And I'd have it no other way. Another disarming intro in "Believe It" keeps you kickin' and is a great accompanying factor into the punk-influenced tracks like "Loose Men" and "Blasted." Fuzzy, pop-metal crafted like fine beer. This record was worth the wait because it responds to lovers and haters alike with each track finding explosive ground and holding you until the very end. Couldn't ask for more. Great follow up to Harmonicraft. Side note: I actually got run off the road yesterday (Feb. 13), spun out on the highway and crashed into a concrete barrier. Taking Back Sunday's self-titled was in the deck. And on the floor of the passenger seat, there was a note I wrote -- 'Don't forget the Torche review..."

And how could I? Very glad that the first piece of writing I did was on this album. Restarter is totally worth ignoring the panic attacks, nightmares about the accident and being alone for Valentine's Day. Cheers, Torche.