Torche @ Stereo, 24 Nov

Article by Jason Morton | 29 Nov 2010

Torche are a conundrum. Like: Are they even metal? Coming into Glasgow's Stereo, the band's got a low end that could rattle fillings loose and a massive sound overall – dually impressive as they're just a three-piece – but they also play pop hooks that would make top-40 phonies jealous. Added to that, while trudging bass tones and chugga-chugga riffs dominate tracks from early albums, newer offerings from Songs for Singles pepper in sun-shiny harmonics, building toward epic crescendos.

Their aesthetic doesn’t help this dilemma either, as Torche carry themselves like a pop-punk band. During more upbeat fare such as Hideaway, guitarist Steve Brooks hops around the stage, his face pulled, in what recalls a mischievous mutt caught in the act, while still delivering precise fretwork. Bands like Torche may be the reason music has gotten so genre happy – they're referred to as doom-pop – but one thing's plain to see: they're kings in the recent metal renaissance, with a live show to match the title. [Jason Morton]

Songs for Singles is out now on Hydrahead Records.