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Torche, Stone City, Late Bloomer CL Recommends

When: Thu., Dec. 19 2013
Price: $10/$13
TORCHE

Though boxed in by descriptors like “doom pop” and “bubblegum metal,” Miami’s heaviest, most harmonious foursome Torche have refused to stand still. Boasting vocalist/guitarist Steve Brooks’ patented (and gimmicky) “bomb-string” assault — guitars down-tuned so low that the strings practically dangle off the bridge — Torche has evolved from the low, viscous roar and grimy-massed guitars of the Melvins in its sludge metal phase to a still-blistering attack that folds the shiny “Mr. Showbiz” pop-smarts of David Lee Roth into a surprisingly stable mix of ’90s Green River grunge, ’70s bong-water backwash from stoner forebears like Lord Baltimore, and the space-rock of Hawkwind. The acrimonious 2008 departure of guitarist Juan Montoya seems to have unleashed the pop-metal tune-smith in Brooks, with brisk, perky songs slicing through the tar pits, delivered in Brooks’ appealing everyman bellow. Current buzz cut “Kicking” marries the muscular mod rock of early Futureheads to bright and squiggly Eddie Van Halen-meets-Brian May guitars. Perhaps Brooks’ decided his best way forward is embracing his inner Diamond Dave.

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