March 29, 2006

SXSW Report #27: Torche @ Sound on Sound

Part Chimp was upstaged rather quickly by Torche, the Floridian quartet that immediately succeeded them. Their guitarists used Marshall and Orange amps that were taller than everyone in attendance, and tuned their guitars so low that the bassist’s mere presence seemed excessive. I couldn’t hear him that well anyway, even though he played through a fuzz pedal. I also couldn’t hear the vocals; it was as if a prankster had disconnected the microphones from the PA right before the band walked on stage. The only thing I could focus on was the riffs…and they were MIGHTY. The guitarists didn’t even bother to solo --- they just let their riffs collide against each other like reckless bumper cars. There was one song during which they employed a technique called “the bomb string,” which is exactly what its name implies: a broken, floppy string that, when run through enough distortion, can sound like a bomb detonating. Torche were the loudest and heaviest band I saw at this year’s SXSW, hands down. Florida, for some strange reason, churns out metal bands like a factory; I’m far from a metal expert, but I’m willing to bet that Torche is among the cream of the crop.

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