TAMPA — Miami-based heavy metal band Torche will perform Monday, July 8, 7 p.m., at Crowbar, 1812 N. 17th St., Tampa.
Tickets are $13. Call 813-241-8600 or visit www.crowbarybor.com.
Over the last 15 years, Torche — led by the core trio of guitarist and producer Jon Nuñez, guitarist/vocalist Steve Brooks and drummer Rick Smith — have often been saddled with one-dimensional niche terms like doom, sludge or stoner rock, but none of them really apply, according to Ground Control Touring.
“People are always trying to figure out which compartment we fit into,” said Nuñez. “They want to put us on a shelf. But in a world of Sabbaths, we get to be Van Halen. When people ask me what kind of music we play, I just say, ‘Loud rock n’ roll.’”
“Admission,” Torche’s fifth and latest album, certainly earns that description. From the rumbling cannonade of opener “From Here” and chunky bomb-string detonator “What Was” to the staccato siren song “Reminder” and glistening thunder-pop of the title track, it’s a record that manages to be high-powered, dynamic and melodic — all at the same time.
“To me, it’s a real record with peaks and valleys and emotional ups and downs,” Nuñez said. “Musically, the intensity doesn’t stay in one lane.”
Nuñez says the musical range exhibited on the album — as well as Torche’s unwillingness to be pinned down — is a result of the band’s wide spectrum of unlikely influences.
“I feel like we all listen to so many different types of music, but not really much within the realm of what we’re considered to play,” he explained “We like ’70s rock, shoegaze, ambient music, obscure noise, and stuff we grew up with like Latin or Hispanic music. All of us grew up in Miami during an interesting time, so there’s all kinds of things that drew us in.”
“Admission” will be released in July.
Behind the scenes, Torche underwent some lineup changes in the wake of 2015’s “Restarter.” First off, Nuñez switched from bass to guitar. To fill the bass position, the band enlisted Eric Hernandez of Miami noise-rockers Wrong, who joined the original Torche triumvirate in time to play on “Admission.”
“We knew right away that Eric was the guy,” Nuñez said. “He’s bailed us out on drums before when Rick had some health issues. Now that this is the lineup, things are easier. No one needs to be told anything, and everyone’s excited.”
With the band’s members spread between Florida and Los Angeles, Torche got together whenever possible to work on the songs that would become “Admission.”
“I think the only two we wrote on the spot were ‘Extremes Of Consciousness’ and the closer, ‘Changes Come,’” Nuñez said. “We wrote some in Gainesville, some in LA, put one together in Colorado and a couple other ones came together in Miami. It was exciting to do things differently and it kind of kept us on our toes.”
“Admission” marks just the second time Torche have actually printed their lyrics in an album sleeve. “Usually Steve’s lyrics make sense to me in some sort of abstract way, but this album has some more personal stuff in there,” Nuñez said. “It’s a cool little insight into Steve’s twisted head.”
In fact, Admission might be Torche’s most personal album yet.
“This album is more revealing of who we are,” Nuñez added. “I think the core of the band is happier and more inspired than we have been in some time, and we’ve got somebody new who’s excited to be a part of it. It’s just refreshing.”