Saturday, June 28, 2008

Torche make me happy

Notice anything weird about that picture of Torche? That's right, they're smiling. Not so common for a metal band, but Torche have some pretty good reasons to smile. The heavy metal they send on a supersonic jetplane all the way from Miami can get pretty fuckin' heavy -- probably explaining why all of Torche's members are so short -- and yet it's all in the name of major key, hooky rock 'n roll power.

So as I discovered during Torche's semi-secret gig last Monday night at the Relax Bar in L.A., it's possible to have your life affirmed by a metal concert. The hundred-odd people crammed in that sweaty hellhole were a brotherhood (with a couple sisters thrown in), pounding fists and screaming in righteous release along with the band's balls-crushing "thunder pop" (Torche's term, not mine). The Relax Bar isn't quite large enough for a proper pit, and yet the crowd got as close as it could during the couple tunes Torche dusted off from its pre-Torche incarnation as Floor, jumping all over each other, spilling beers and grasping for arms, mic stands, anything it could to attach itself to the music.

This wasn't the blank frat-monkey aggression of your standard moshing. This was proper HAPPINESS, of the fanatic hippie variety, felt so strongly and so uniformly by everyone in the room that strangers hugged one another. Torche as Jim Jones, doling out the aural Kool Aid? Yeah, that's about right. That show made me feel like I was fifteen again, when I believed that rock 'n roll could change the world.

Even Torche's shirts are inspiring. Here's the one I shoulda bought:

Read my Prefixmag review of Torche's new album Meanderthal here.

Listen to Torche on their MySpace page.

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