While Metal shows are havens for certain physical behaviors — headbanging, throwing the horns, grasping for an invisible orange during a particularly juicy guitar solo — smiling while you're playing is not one of them. But that hasn't stopped Steve Brooks. Torche's ringleader doesn't just crack a hint of a happy face during concerts but practically beams, as if the moment you're witnessing him perform is the single most bad-ass thing he will ever experience and he's doing his damndest to savor it.
Brooks' enthusiasm aside, Torche does a few more things differently from your average mausoleum-variety Metal group despite consistently touring with other Metal bands and receiving oodles of attention from Metal press outlets. The Georgia/Florida-based warriors have concocted a Sludge-Pop sound that blends deep-in-the-muck guitars with serious hookiness to great effect. They perfected this formula on 2008's Meanderthal, which housed the apoplectic, pounding tracks that still went down easy thanks to a scoop of sugar.
In a 2010 A.V. Club interview, Brooks said, “We’re about as metal as bands like the Melvins” — an apt way of characterizing Torche's difficult-to-characterize M.O. The group released its third full-length, Harmonicraft, in April and it carries on the crunchy and melodic qualities of Meanderthal.
If all this hasn't convinced you to give these guys a hear-see, Brooks has also described his onstage mindset as being the “same as if I was playing a party,” which is as good of a sales pitch as you're going to get.
TORCHE performs at the Ballroom at Taft Theatre Tuesday, June 19 with guests Corrosion of Conformity, Black Cobra and Gaza. Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here .