(Volcom Entertainment, 2012)
Formed in 2004, Miami, Florida’s Torche have been on a journey since their inception. Tagged with every modern day rock-descriptor imaginable, from “stoner pop” to “sludge-pop-metal”, there has been little consensus into which genre they should slide. But should we be able to easily slap a genre label on an artist we love, and expect them to adhere to this for their duration? The simple answer is no.
Their latest release, Harmonicraft, follows their critically acclaimed 2008 album Meandrethal (Hydra Head Records / Robotic Empire), and is Torche’s first long player to be released on Volcom Entertainment, and the first following the leaving of guitarist Juan Montoya in late 2008.
A departure from their previous albums’ often sinister, minor tonalities, Harmonicraft is an uplifting and energised take; maintaining the guts of the band’s previous outings but adding a timbre of positivity to the picture. Discussion of this latest album seems centered on Torche’s evolution into pop-metal territory, or that the likability of the album could conceivably be tempered by this development. But that last word says it all, really – artists grow and venture into new realms, and, when it is done with such conviction and is as enjoyable as Harmonicraft, we should count ourselves lucky that authenticity rules the day. This is where Torche wants to be, and it shines through.