Words + Photos By: Adam Parshall
Sometimes you just need to vibrate at a different frequency to feel like a person again after a long few months. Sometimes the only cure is volume and vibration. Remember when you’d go to the mall as a kid and run away from your parents ‘cuz they were being fucking lame or you’d drag them to stores and you’d inevitably wind up in Sharper Image and you’d sit in one of the fancy full-body massage chairs? SOOTHING. So soothing. So, with the added bonus of being an extremely catchy doom metal band, Torche’s set at Great Scott also acted like vibration therapy.
Torche are one of the few metal bands I can recall in recent memory that can mingle with the pop punks and skate punks and emo kids of FEST each year and they still remain a punishing live band that pulls zero punches regardless of audience. You’re likely to leave their show with a dull ringing in your ears and, a churning, vibrating sensation in your guts (not unlike one of those vintage belly blaster belt machines…but, you know…metal). Low end swells up from the venue floor, the bass permeates every way you can possibly physically feel, it’s a full-on sensory experience, especially in the echo chamber that is Great Scott.
The night’s openers on the 3rd were solid primers for the sonic storm to come, with Chrome Over Brass kicking things off. The recording/live project of drummer/engineer Alex Garcia-Rivera, Chrome Over Brass blends instrumental precision with visual theatricality. The drum-centric metal project not only could serve as the soundtrack to an impromptu industrial dance night, but also as a perfect showcase of Garcia-Rivera’s knack for producing heavy records, drum chops, and penchant for theatricality, turning Great Scott into a reverb chamber built on the back of a steady stream of punk, metal, and industrial tracks.
Chrome Over Brass
It’s best to view WYW as one of two sides of the same Jacob Bannon coin. Converge: fast, precise, surgical in its speed and burn rate; Wear Your Wounds, expansive, soaring, a slow sonic burn. Pulling mostly from material from their most recent release, Rust On The Gates of Heaven, the live version of WYW is finally the fully realized live lineup, including punk and metal luminaries Adam McGrath, Mike McKenzie, Sean Martin, and Chris Maggio. Even with a full lineup, Wear Your Wounds in a club the size of Great Scott feels somewhat…stripped down. The next step: theater with a full backing orchestra.
Wear Your Wounds
After seeing this set, I am finally fully aware of the crossover appeal of Torche. Prior to catching them live, I was usually surprised when I saw them on the FEST lineup (aside from their being from Florida). But now, I see why. The sludge metal juggernauts comport themselves with all the energy, devil-may-care nonsense, and antics that one might ascribe to the typical blend of pop-punk, skate punk, and emo bands that grace Gainesville each fall. But Torche is proof that despite its chugging, thudding, droning cadence, doom metal/sludge metal (whatever the heck you wanna call it) can still be fun as hell. With a few forays into the front row for solos, guitarist and singer Steve Brooks kept things moving while the rest of the Miami four piece held it down like clockwork. Burning through most of their newest record, Admission, Torche has mastered the tribal slow burn, tracks like “Slide,” “From Here,” and “Infierno” gaining new volume when amplified by the reverberation of the walls and the mass of bodies at the sold-out Allston club.