TORCHE + REDEMPTUS // Musicbox, Lisbon
Words and Pictures by Ricardo Almeida
Torche’s refined riffs, heavy bass, contagious melodies and sexy grooves take us to a different place than most of the acts under the ‘sludge’ label. And that is fine. We all enjoy being kicked and punched and spit in the face at some filthy sludge show – seriously, that’s important sometimes. But most of us, no matter how much we might sympathize with a certain song, are not the characters in that music – and I guess even those like laugh and have a good time once in a while. Wearing our 50€ lumberjack shirts, we all enjoy cranking up “Dopesick” while sitting comfortably in our living rooms, drinking tea, instagraming our beards, wondering how life is hard and fucked up and all is negative. I’m not judging. Well, actually I am. Sorry, that’s what people do. We’re all spectators in here, and we judge a lot. But I also know I might be among those I just talked about. No big deal.
Coming from Miami, where people drink stuff with umbrellas on, Torche totally earned the right to carry the flag of sludge rock. However, their live show is actually a mood booster, one that makes you leave the venue happier. The level of quality they’ve put into records like Meanderthal or Harmonicraf is only paralleled by their energetic performances and great mood.
One might push be a little to the depressive side most of the times and have little patient for music one can’t hang himself to, but that doesn’t mean one can’t enjoy and remember with great esteem watching bands like Metz, Oneida and now Torche play live. This is rock n’ roll celebration without all the tackiness of rock n’ roll celebration.
So why did I start this with a rant on a bunch of middle class hipsters dressing as lumberjacks from god knows where in the middle of the USA? I honestly don’t know. I guess we’re all peers in here (at least we’ll try to believe that), the pretentious hipster and the regular dude who wears white socks (and not because he is a Suicidal Tendencies’ fan), the tattooed covered hardcore freak and the guy who came straight from work, having no time to get out of his executive suit. Managing to break a kick drum in the very first few seconds of the show, Torche proved to be in great shape as they
presented Restarter, with its brand new anthems like “No Servants” or the title track.
One last word for Redemptus: contrasting with the main act and fronted by one of the strongest vocals in the Portuguese underground, Redemptus injured our necks with their fine blend of dark hardcore influenced sludge. Keep an eye on these guys and their debut record, We All Die the Same.