Thursday, May 3, 2012

Operation Torche

How long until Torche is on FM radio? On Harmonicraft, Miami's top sound machine sounds like they're seconds away from firebombing the Modern Rock airwaves. If they were on a major, it probably would've already happened.

On their last full-length, Meanderthal, Torche played breakneck melodies that usually ingratiated and ended by the two-minute mark. Here the songs are more fleshed-out, losing some of their Pollardian appeal but rewarding their Foo-on-Fire choruses with more breathing room. "Letting Go" packs a Bo Diddley bounce into a punk-metal riot, and "Walk it Off" and "Sky Trials" add new levels of musicanship to the band's short-song mastery.

But most of Harmonicraft is about the melodies, sky-high, guitar-driven fist-pumpers that dig out the punk elements of Siamese Dream. Hearing Steve Brooks and new guitarist Andrew Elstner find major key glory on "Snakes are Charmed," bake drummer Rick Smith in the instrumetal (sic) heaven of the title track or come up with song titles like "Kiss Me Dudley" is a pleasure that everyone needs to hear this year. Especially Clear Channel.

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