So here we are, an era where genre-fusions are so common you probably wouldn’t bat an eyelid at a Latino hip-thrusting maraca-shaking outfit throwing in some gang vocals and blast beats. And in keeping with this mish-mash of ‘whatever sounds can be shoved together we will bloody well do it‘ mentality, we have Torche, a band who mix so many genres it is often hard to keep up. Whilst the doom metal, thrash metal, stoner rock and psychedelic rhythms that are apparent here please (immensely, I should add), what is so impressive about Torche is that it is done in a particularly pop-ish (if there is such a word) manner.
Think Pelican on speed. Think Cult Of Luna played in a major key. Think a 21st century Pink Floyd (ok, ok, it’s not that good) but this is seriously imperious stuff, played with a swagger so lean that would make Mike Jagger come across all humble. ‘Meanderthal’ is a drug-infused journey of sound-scapes so extroverted and yet so introverted that as a listener you wonder if you are welcome on their journey at all. Whilst the latter parts of the album veer into distinct stoner rock measures, the early songs on ‘Meanderthal’ are a life-affirming voyage of triumphant anthems that would send any mind into places it has probably never been before.
‘Meanderthal‘ is a record that literally DEMANDS to be played from start to finish, and it is also a record that not only demands but deserves attention and utter, wholesome admiration.