It's been a banner year for half-Miami/half-Atlanta-based (wahhh!) quartet Torche. The release of the band's second full-length album, Meanderthal, this past April unleashed an avalanche of megawatt praise from the likes of Spin, Mojo, Decibel, and basically everyone who matters — even the usually cranky dudes over at Pitchfork. Representing a sonic and intellectual evolution of the group's earliest sound, the pleasingly skull-crushing heavy parts are tempered here with the stamp of the band's more nuanced influences. Almost upbeat numbers such as "Healer" sound like down-tuned, sandpaper-chafed trips through the back catalogues of, say, Sonic Youth or Quicksand. The album sounds cathartic, monolithic, and melodic all at once. Torche is on a tiny, infrequent break between tours, soon headed off back through the States, and then through Japan, with Coliseum and Clouds. Still, they're taking the time for a one-off gig for their hard-core hometown fans.
As for the bands sharing the bill, the elusive foursome Jinchuu cannibalizes the best of thrash legends such as Napalm Death, digests it, and spews it back out as punk- and grindcore-flavored chum. And thanks to a couple of well-received independent EPs, Mehkago N.T., featuring Torche/Shitstorm drummer Rick, is gaining a little out-of-town love as well. They've also scored a million funny points for, consequently, getting a bunch of unwitting gringos to keep saying "I crap on you" in Spanish (sound out the band's name, folks).