July 27, 2012
I’ve been digging through old audio folders lately to see what stuff turned up. I had to check the file index of when I got ahold of these demo tracks and it was February 2005. From what I can work out these 3 tracks are the openers from their first album with the first pass at a ‘mix’… I recall hearing rumblings of an ‘ex Floor’ band in maybe Summer 2004? Anyway this is the original TORCHE lineup with Juan Montoya on second guitar. Their sound is unmistakable from the get-go, Steve Brooks’ vocals set them apart from all the shouting and screaming that is the norm for ‘heavy’ music.
July 26, 2012
Wow, so it was my plan to make this post 2 years ago… time flies. I’ve been interested in Dysrhythmia since ‘Pretest’, they then got Colin Marston (Behold… the Arctopus, Krallice etc.) in to play bass mid decade and finally came over to Europe in 2010. This set is them playing most of their ‘Psychic Maps’ album & there’s a new song in there if I recall rightly. They have a new album out very soon so that jam should be on there. This was definitely a gig to look back on as a very cerebral experience, while also bordering on the psychedelic. The ideas of progressive instrumental music are taken to new levels for sure. Click image
July 23, 2012
Before this year I only had faint recollections of this band from maybe 6-7 years ago… I wasn’t one for the Pelican/Isis/Mogwai shoegaze style that seemed prevalent by that point. The new Russian Circles album ‘Empros’ released late last year totally changed my opinion, it leans in a heavier direction and avoids the trap lots of instrumental bands fall into… being over indulgent & boring (eg. Pelican). The minor key, delayed guitar noodling, quiet/loud crescendo formula has been done to death. Russian Circles avoid that trap and keep things interesting by writing songs that are more dynamic (especially the drumming). This set was recorded a few years ago in Leeds (not sure by who?) and they would’ve been touring their second album ‘Station’. I think the music here definitely comes off better in the live setting. Photo taken from the Hive site.
July 18, 2012
It’s easy for people to talk about things being ‘underrated’, it’s a term I seldom use but I’d make an exception for RIDDLE OF STEEL. ‘Python’ was this St.Louis, IL band’s first album and condenses all the best elements of rock music filtered through the ‘post hardcore’ net creating a very strong mission statement. To quote the band’s influences: ‘TRANS AM, QOTSA, SHINER, VAN HALEN, THE POLICE, ZEPPELIN, JAWBOX, SHUDDER TO THINK.’ I think by their second album ‘Got this Feelin’ they are well on the way to rival any of the above bands. Guitar/Vocalist Andrew Elstner was recruited by TORCHE in 2011 and his presence on ‘Harmonicraft’ definitely has had a solidifying effect on their songwriting. Dave Turncrantz puts in an incredible drum performance on this album before heading into instrumental territory with the formation of RUSSIAN CIRCLES. All ROS albums were released by Ascetic records who should have a site online again soon… I heard that news a year ago now, hope it gets fixed because they’ve put out some great stuff.