Hometown: Miami, Florida
Members: Steve Brooks – (Guitar/Vocals), Juan Montoya – (Guitar), Jonathan Nuñez – (Bass), Rick Smith – (Drums)

Unlikely pairings rarely look good on paper. But, the self-titled debut by TORCHE – which amazingly merges the heft of the Melvins with the dementedly sugary pop harmonies of the Beach Boys – is an infectious and seemingly impossible synthesis we call “Thunder Pop.”

Sure, this sound was hinted at by TORCHE singer/guitarist/songwriter Steve Brooks’ former group Floor, founded by the mighty Black Sabbath and nearly accomplished by mainstreamers Queens of the Stone Age… but such truly anthemic, triumphant and absolutely massive heavy rock has never been so downright catchy! The mind-rupturing debut album by the Miami, FL quartet—which also features former Floor guitarist Juan Montoya (who, along with Brooks, also played in the mighty Cavity), drummer Rick Smith (ex-Tyranny Of Shaw) and bassist Jon Nuñez—echoes the scooped-EQ tones (all lows and highs with precious little mid-range) of the Melvins classic Ozma, the infectious riff-rock of Nirvana’s Bleach and glissando multi-part harmonies of classic Beach Boys.

TORCHE’s gloriously sung, harmonized and soaring vocal arrangements accompanying the most monolithic riffs of modern times, is truly a massive sound made all the more devastating by the album’s masterful production. The lumbering sludge of opener “Charge of the Brown Recluse” heralds the coming rockpocalypse of raging tracks like the behemoth chamber pop of “Mentor” and the head-bobbing sliding harmonic guitar lines of “Rock It.” Chiming hook-laden tunes like “Fire” and “Erase” are streamlined thunder pop chunks that get right to the point and self-immolate in just over two minutes.

After Floor, er, collapsed in June 2004, Brooks and Montoya immediately started thinking up plans for a new band that would continue where their former group left off. Robotic Empire label founder (and huge Floor fan) Andy Low suggested that the new band work with his friend, Smith on drums. The lineup soon solidified with Nuñez, one of Smith’s long-time friends. TORCHE had ignited.

Less than a year later, the incendiary result of the band’s diligent work schedule results in this landmark 10-song debut that is bound to, ahem, catch fire in a big way.

US label

Robotic Empire Records

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Rock Action Discography

rockact30cd – Torche (2006)

1. charge of the brown recluse
2. safe
3. mentor
4. erase
5. fuck addict
6. vampyro
7. rockit
8. fire
9. holy roar
10. the last word