Last summer, when New Times interviewed guitarist Juan Montoya, cofounder of Florida underground-metal powerhouse Torche, he explained one of the differences between him and his bandmate (and friend of 15-plus years), singer-guitarist Steve Brooks: "Steve is the more realistic one in the band... and I'm the one that's always like, 'We're gonna be the best! We're gonna rock out! Let's go to Japan by the end of the year!' I make all these crazy goals and he's like, 'Dude, you're a daydreamer...'" Apparently, realism won out, because Montoya was asked to leave the band in late 2008 owing to vague but ever-popular "personal and professional" reasons, reducing Torche to a trio (the members have no plans to replace Montoya). Part of what made last year's breakthrough album Meanderthal such an amazing, compelling listen was the collision of the cofounders' disparate styles and influences: Brooks was into death metal like Entombed and Deicide, while Montoya brought a love of My Bloody Valentine, Jawbox, and Cocteau Twins; they found common ground in the Melvins, whom Torche occasionally resembled both on the disc and live. How the band moves forward with Brooks firmly in charge is anyone's guess, but this Sunday's show should provide at least some answers.
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