Monday, October 18, 2010

Torche - Songs For Singles

After the departure of guitar player Juan Montoya a while back, it was clear to anyone who saw the band live that Torche was changing. The now 3 piece were more playful on stage and the sound, while still heavy, was just different. Songs For Singles is the first recorded documentation of the new Torche sound.

The record starts out fast and fun with the tracks "U.F.O.", "Lay Low" and "Hideaway". Those first 3 songs fly by in under five minutes and if you aren't paying attention you will lose track of what song you are listening to. Things slow down a little on the track "Arrowhead" which really has some of the first heaviness on the record. The tempo once again picks up for the song " Shine on My Old Ways" which is followed by "Cast Into Unknown" which sounds like it could have been on Meanderthal.

The final two tracks on Songs for Singles are the stand outs. "Face the Wall" is a slow, heavy and hypnotic monster. The power of this song is immediate but it's unbelievable live. The whole mood and energy in the room changes with this track and for my money is the best song on the record. Things end with "Out Again" which clocks in at over 6 minutes and can be equally as hypnotic as "Face The Wall" but in a lighter way.

The LP is packaged to mimic a greeting card and actually comes with a letter opener to slice your way through the top of the outer envelope. I have seen people that took the time to steam open the seal but I was entirely too impatient to go that route. Inside the envelope you find a picture of the guys on the front of the card and when opened the album notes look handwritten. A simple HydraHead records seal on the back for a very simple package. I am not in love with the packaging but honestly how to you follow up the massive layout of Meanderthal?

There are multiple color variations for this release. I think something like 5 different colors. The copy I bought was on teal colored vinyl and came from Vacation Vinyl records. I did not receive a letter opener with my copy but the guys were gracious enough to give me one at one of their shows. I have heard that mail order copies are now coming with the opener but I am not 100% on that. It seems that the copies the band have with them are on white vinyl.

Seeing the band play songs off of Songs for Singles gave me a slightly different opinion of the tracks then just hearing them on my turntable. The record seems to be more of a flirtation then a love affair found on previous releases but in the end it leaves you hoping that something more permanent develops. I am eagerly awaiting the next full length record from Torche.

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