Torche, 'Meanderthal (Hydra Head)

8
Meanderthal
Critical Mass
Label: Hydra Head

by Joe Gross

Maybe it's the bunker-thick wall of sludge, maybe it's the doomy undertow, or maybe it's the hair-farming guitar whiz and gay frontman (peace to Judas Priest), but Torche aren't really a metal band, certainly not the pleasureless Ozzfest kind, not with riffs this gloriously anthemic. "Meanderthal" is guitar pop for those who wish Foo Fighters had a pre-sellout period. The superchunky "Grenades," "Healer," and "Across the Shields" thrash out hefty hooks so flawless that Josh Homme just woke up in a cold sweat.

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