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Make a great EP, In Return, I'll write a review. - 72%

almightyjoey, August 13th, 2009

Torche are an awesome band. They've only had three (well, proper) releases as of yet, and they've all been massively enjoyable short records of their own original sound. In Return isn't my favourite of theirs, but it is the one I respect the most. That is because I like to think of it as "the middle ground" of their discography. Not only is it physically placed in between their two studio albums, it also holds the middle ground in an aural way. It combines the more sludge side of their self-titled album, but is also unafraid of branching out into poppier moments, which are evident on Meanderthal. Because of this, I think of the EP like a chocolate milkshake. Bear with me. Two ideas being put together (Milk and chocolate powder, Sludge and pop) and given a vigourous shaking. The end result; if done well, should result in a tasty, refreshing final product, without any unwanted lumps in it. In Return is just like that. The mixture is done well. Not too much of each, and placed together in the most appropriate places.

The actual tracks are astounding, too. Warship opens the album up by beating you senseless with riffs. While it's probably not "heaviest thing we've ever done", it's sure as hell a heavy way to start an album. The rest of the EP follows in a similar vein; when it gets heavy, it gets REALLY heavy. Something to do with the detuned guitar, chugging bass and Orange amplifiers, I imagine. Another thing I like about this EP is the fact that the band don't take themselves too seriously. As if you hadn't found this out by the characters and artwork on Meanderthal, Torche aren't afraid to let their silly sides out every now and then, as seen on 'Tarpit Carnivore'. Said track features lyrics which is essentially just a list of any prehistoric meat eaters.

It takes a few listens, but this is a good recording. A lot of the tracks kind of fuse together towards the end, and at 20 minutes, it's a little discouraging that it doesn't really hold an overall level of interest, but in this day and age, I can't imagine it's easy to keep a sludge record from meandering every now and then. Worth a listen.