Written by: PP on 27/03/2021 12:51:39

It was perhaps unreasonable to expect Torche to continue churning out such monumental masterpieces as "Restarter" and "Harmonicraft" album after album, but when you virtually invent a whole new genre of music (pop-stoner), you tend to leave a lasting mark in people's minds, including the people behind this magazine. Alas, the expectations for the fifth album "Admission" were sky-high despite the departure of guitarist Andrew Elstner, whose role was taken over by bassist Jonathan Nuñez.

So did the band deliver on those expectations two years ago? As usual, the answer is a two-sided yes and no. For starters, they deliver the same metallic, heavy brand of stoner drenched in shoegaze dreaminess and pop harmonies, so the expression is nicely familiar and expected for any previous Torche fan. The crushing heaviness has been toned down somewhat with less chunky bass, but not dramatically so, leaving their noise-laden expression largely intact. And with infectiously catchy vocal harmonies on tracks like "Slide" and the title track "Admission", it's tempting to jot down that Torche picks up just where they left off on "Restarter" in 2015, offering similar droning dreaminess (see: "Reminder" and "Changes Come") as in the past.

Yet it doesn't quite feel as convincing as previously. The record as a whole feels less powerful and less memorable than the explosions of bombastic stoner-meets-pop that the previous two albums delivered. Opening bass-heavy vibrations of "From Here" ensure your ears are shaking as they usually would on a Torche record, but as you absorb the record you'll take note of the slightly lighter and less forceful approach the band has taken here. But make no mistake: the songs are still rock solid and underline why Torche is the best band in this genre right now, no other band comes even close to the level of catchy vocal harmony meets crushing guitar power and screeching distortion on display here. If anything, "Admission" can be considered as a maintenance release: it reminds us what a great band Torche is and keeps expanding their fan base, who will eventually find their way down to the aforementioned masterpieces.


Download: Slide, Admission, Changes Come
For the fans of: Baroness, Mutoid Man, City Of Ships, Kyuss, Mastodon, Kylesa, Pelican
Listen: Facebook

Release date 12.07.2019

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