Whatever Nevermind

whatever_nevermindWhatever Nevermind
Various Artists
Robotic Empire

Keeping in line with the current montage of Nirvana whirling around the media, the fantastic Robotic Empire label have revealed their second tribute to the band.

Following 2014’s take on In Utero, which featured an all star cast of Ceremony, Daughters and Jay Reatard, this time around, Nevermind is given the cover treatment.

Featuring a diverse range of acts from Torche’s low-end sludge rendition of ‘In Bloom’ to La Dispute’s post-hardcore ‘Polly’ drawl, via White Reaper’s thrashing ode to ‘Territorial Pissings’, there’s much gold to be found here. Especially in Young Widows’ thankfully innovative spin on ‘Teen Spirit.

Torche Live at XOYO


Torche
w/ Old Forest
XOYO, London
16th September 2012

An unfortunate injury to a band member sadly meant Hang The Bastard were unable to play XOYO this evening, leaving just two bands to share the stage. There has been more conjecture among underground pundits about the potential of Old Forest rather than their music: tonight’s performance did little to quell the excitement of the former, but raised some inevitable frustrations regarding the latter.

The south-west London three-piece grab strands from Seattle grunge and stoner rock with remarkable confidence, weaving them into a set of loud, down-tuned rock music, the proficiency of which belied the obviously tender ages of the band members. There can be no doubt that they have written some killer riffs and play them with intuitive composure, but it is not merely the fresh-facedness of the band that shows them to be a touch unfinished. It would be good to see them once they have taken possession of the prerequisite self assuredness to rock out, strum hard and loosen up. At present, it all makes for a rather stilted spectacle, and while their live sound is already formidable, it could just be spectacular with time.

Torche’s new album, ‘Harmonicraft’, tends very much towards the melodic side of the band’s sound. It is a brighter and less overtly riffed-up version of what some have felt the need to label, in abhorrent taste, ‘bubblegum stoner.’ The horror. However, such fuss has certainly played a part in wafting the band’s sweet yet heavy tones to some very lofty ears and there was a sense of expectation in XOYO. The venue was unusually busy for a Sunday night, thronging with an amusing blend of people who had presumably been told to be there by Zane Lowe and others who would not have needed any prompting to see this band play a genuine shore, or ditch.

Those who might have feared Torche’s newest material might be a case of ‘too much Grohl and not enough soul’ should, I imagine, have been assuaged by their blistering performance this evening. The songs from ‘Harmonicraft’ sound refreshingly heavy live – even the saccharine-sweet ‘Kicking’ had something of the night about it – while diehards were well served by a generous haul of older songs from ‘Meanderthal’ and their self-titled debut. This was a great set. It had the populism of the Foos alongside the pugilism of Floor (frontman Steve Brooks’ previous, highly recommended sludge metal band). And, support bands of the capital take note, they looked like they were having a great time.

Words: Martin Brown
Photos: Graham Berry

Old Forest
Torche

Torche announce UK tour for September

Stoner rock legends Torche will be visiting the UK in September after announcing a bunch of dates this week. Get ready for this well in advance as these dates are bound to sell out after the strength of new album latest album ‘Harmonicraft’.

SEPTEMBER

13 – MANCHESTER Moho Live
14 – NOTTINGHAM Rock City Basement
15 – GLASGOW Captain’s Rest
16 – LONDON XOYO
17 – BRIGHTON Haunt
18 – SOUTHAMPTON Cellar