Torche. You know who Torche are. Are they a post-hardcore band? Is this some kind of Sludge pop? “When people ask me what kind of music we play, I just say, ‘Loud rock n’ roll’,” says guitarist Jon Nuñez. There you go. Admission is Torche‘s new album, and it does not disappoint.
Opening track From Here pulls no punches. Battering drums from Rick Smith. Tight, crushing riffs. Steve Brooks’ vocals and leads skating across the top of a non-Newtonian wall of sound. And in little more than a minute and a half it’s over. We’re in.
Submission hits an immediate groove that hooks and never lets go, Slide‘s cheeky, chunky main riff opens out into wider vistas of slip-sliding melody. What Was is another minute and a half pummeller, Times Lost a floaty, melancholic, slow-and-steady hypnotiser.
It’s worth noting at this point that Torche have never sounded less Sludgey than they do on Admission. Steve Brooks’ vocals and leads are more polished and dynamic than they have ever been. The energy of the record overall seems much more unashamedly positive. Their characteristic tightness and heaviness is still very much there though. It’s as though, like oil in water, the layers have separated so that we can see (hear) the different elements more clearly than ever before.
Admission is exactly the sort of album you want to listen to on repeat.
Title track Admission has a weirdly, unmistakably 80s feel (to me, anyway). It’s like Torche are covering some forgotten synth-pop hit and massively owning it, making it their own. Reminder staggers and stabs, gradually and artfully hooking you in.
Extremes of Consciousness shows off some of Torche’s characteristic Big Riff work beautifully. On the Wire does likewise with some of the biggest, fattest sounding guitar and bass on the album up to this point. Then Infierno thumps you in the gut with chugging low-end and tom thudding, bringing a welcome touch of savagery to proceedings.
Admission’s closing track, Changes Come opens with the line “I’m alright”, as if to reassure us that Torche are glad to have got that out of their system. It’s melodic and an optimistic ending, and again feels somehow weirdly 80s to me. It’s exactly the kind of last song that makes you want to immediately re-start the album, and Admission is exactly the sort of album you want to listen to on repeat. Some of the tracks are really short, some push just beyond the five minute mark, but none outstay their welcome. Thirty-six minutes certainly isn’t a long running time in an era where so many bands think nothing of a song lasting half that time, but Torche manage to say and do everything they wanted to with Admission in that time.
Scribed by: John Reppion