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Crustcake Presents: TORCHE – In Return

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Below is the 2nd edition of Crustcake Presents. Every week, renowned music blogger Crustcake will present to you an album that will sync with your third eye and will aid your herbal adventures through the metropolitan terrains of life. Make sure to visit Crustcake’s blog for more of his musings.

torche inreturnTwo words: "Bomb String." While other bands tune to dropped D or even C or lower, Miami quartet Torche take things a step further, tuning the low string of their guitars so slack that the sound emitted isn't even a discernible note. The bomb string's din can best be likened to the infamous 'brown note'.

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Torche's signature sound is defined by– in addition to the bomb string of course– an unorthodox melding of heavy, sludgy riffing and former Floor front man Steve Brooks' catchy, almost poppy vocals.

In Return is the follow up to Torche's self-titled 2005 debut. Though it falls short of the 20 minute mark, In Return still manages to pack quite a punch. The psych-outs that diluted the overall heaviness of Torche are mostly absent on In Return, replaced by monumentally crushing riffs and a liberal serving of the aforementioned bomb string.

In Return careens out of the gates with the lumbering, angular riffing of "Warship." This is followed immediately by the EP's title track, which plays out more like the quick one-two punch of two separate songs. The first half is catchy and up-tempo and then, abruptly, Torche slam into low gear, hammering the listener with punctuated drums and sludgy riffs as Brooks delivers the EP's namesake lyrics, "we give you nothing in return!"

"Bring Me Home" is In Return's unexpected 'ballad'. Long tones and post-rock tremolo picking abound as imaginary lighters sway above the listener's head.

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Torche crank it up again on "Rule the Beast" before going tectonic on "Olympus Mons," which is named for the tallest mountain in our solar system. Then, Torche continue their incessant eardrum destruction with the impossibly heavy "Tarpit Carnivore"– the last half of which is played almost entirely on the bomb string– and album closer "Hellion."

Bottom line: On In Return, Torche continue to hone their unique craft and, despite its brevity, In Return is definitely one of the strongest albums of 2007.

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