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.
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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).