Clad in stovepipe Levis and a Mario mustache, Torche frontman Steve Brooks seemed more likely to get his ass kicked at Lee's Palace's experimental-metal showcase last night (July 14), let alone take the stage. But such blasé genre-bending is indicative of their new long-player, Meanderthal, and traces of Superchunk's poppy freneticism, the Melvins' sludgy heft, and Minor Threat's fevered drama all made appearances throughout their opening set.
Starting with a scissor kick and doom-laden revision of The Beatles' "She's So Heavy," Torche blanketed thick waves of guitar fuzz across the packed floor. "Without A Sound" grew monolithic with crashing cymbals and a sparse, sonic guitar solo, while "Healer" recalled Soul Asylum with NOFX-worthy hooks. Wagging his tongue triumphantly, Brooks seemed touched by the embracing of his band's chameleon aesthetic.
Through the fog machine and murky purple lighting, headlining Japanese noise experimentalists Boris looked like anime samurai ready to slaughter through rock. While the packed house wore earplugs, the noise levels were shattering high-register guitar squeals and exuberant shouts from drummer Atsuo could draw blood from a stone. In contrast, a series of spacey power ballads (personal fave: "My Neighbor Satan") completed the dirge-like dementia of a night to remember... provided the audience could.
We Asked: When he's not on tour, Torche frontman Steve Brooks works at a Miami pizza shop. Which topping do you think best complements a metal-worthy pie?
We Asked: When he's not on tour, Torche frontman Steve Brooks works at a Miami pizza shop. Which topping do you think best complements a metal-worthy pie?.
Torche drummer Rick Smith revs uphis double-bass muscles. / Photo by Katia Taylor
Torche frontman Steve Brooks barks his way through a Meanderthal cut. / Photo by Katia Taylor
Brooks seethes with appreciation at the crowd. / Photo by Katia Taylor
Smith mans his kit. / Photo by Katia Taylor