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Literally: Ear Candy - 80%

Satanic_Shoe, December 23rd, 2010

Do you like your metal happy-go-lucky and dipped in sugar? If you answered yes to any one of these questions, then you either listen to too much power metal or you need (or already have) Torche in your life. On 2009's Songs for Singles, Torche shed their super sludge pop skin in favor of a nearly identical sound! It's a lot like new Boris material, but not really!

The music here is fucking happy. The guitar tone is rich, shiny, and kinda crunchy, but still pretty heavy and not gritty or murky like usual stoner/sludge metal guitar. The drums keep these bouncy pop beats throughout, and it just makes you want to get up and do a jig with a big goofy fucking smile on your face. Sprinkled on top of this ice cream cone of heavy joy is Steve Brooks's harrowing voice! I don't know what he's singing about, but god damn is it happy! I think there's a bass in there, too!

And the riffs... the riffs are awesomely solid. On "UFO", for example, they start off playing what sounds like some garbage Blink 182 would fart out, but the riffs flow forth like water, constantly and logically progressing through the measly 2-minute song, and with the spastic drumming and joyous vocals, it crescendos into a cloud of absolute joy right in the middle. Or like "Lay Low" which sounds like the gents played a death metal riff, but coated it in fucking caramel! The album continues in much the same pattern until "Face the Wall" and "Out Again". The former is just a brillaint, heart-felt dose of melancholia, its roaring textural guitar is almost tearful and the whole atmosphere is strangely powerful. "Out Again", the longest track on the album, springs right back to the happy like a hopeful resolution after the somewhat sad "Face the Wall". One riff is played for god damn 6 minutes, but it just doesn't get dull and ends up capping off the album quite nicely.

Previously, I compared Torche to Boris. This is an invalid comparison. It is also a valid one. In recent years, as you should already know, Boris (presumably) decided drone was too much, so they decided to play super awesome rock music instead... sometimes (they still like to drone a lot). Meanwhile, Torche came about with what they termed "thunder pop" -- a surprisingly apt description of their music. The difference? Boris do it better. But not only that, Torche just have a springy, bouncy demeanor. Whereas Boris can be a mood-lifter, Torche is a mood-lifter. Songs for Singles, like the rest of their discography, is 21 minutes of pure happy with an amazing flow from song to song, from start to finish. For some reason, it's much better than their older material -- perhaps it's due to less emphasis on the vocals which really made me cringe when I first checked out this band. Whatever it is, this EP is pretty damn good.