I suck on the e-fag. You know those new things that you can smoke but they don’t give you cancer? I’m told it’s not strong but after inhaling I feel like I’ve just taken in a breath of ash and molten glass from Eyjafjallajökull.
I had pre-prepared a fantastic start for this review which involved yours truly getting a tug from a mate, unloading my junk all over the ever-present hipsters. But seeing as I never spotted any hipsters and Sloan wasn’t up for giving me a wank, I decided to just talk about smoking an e-fag.
I was looking forward to seeing this gig at the now-defunct Captains Rest, but had been moved to the ABC2; a venue I’m really uncomfortable attending due to still fresh memories of a disastrous Killing Joke gig. I’m wondering how this will pan out.
Looking and feeling like a seedy yet expensive strip club, the ABC2 does share some similar characteristics; overly expensive with people gawping at those on stage with wide-eyed excitement.
Support comes from The Cosmic Dead, a Glasgow band who appear to dabble in psychedelic space rock with a grounding in freeform jazz, Detroit garage, Tokyo snuff techno and LSD inspired sci-fi high powered 70s blues. And as such, we’re treated to a 40 minute journey; one song, one trip, one outcome. Brain explosion.
The Cosmic Dead guitarist, James, clearly has the hair of thirty men. Waving his locks about as he goes crazy with his sonic conductor, keeping the band on course throughout their interstellar odyssey. I am not up with drummer lingo, but all these fills and percussive breaks keep everything interesting. Then there’s the cunt on keyboard, who is giving the whole thing a lovely Moog-type wash. A kosmik stew of drones and layers upon layers of synth; best served with a handful of mushrooms.
Torche hit the stage after a short break, and look like they want to fuck our ears and fill us full of intensely happy super-charged sludge. And by fuck do they succeed.
Performing mostly tracks from their new album ‘Harmonicraft’, opener ‘Letting Go’ draws the crowd to the stage; greeting the song with fist pumping and head banging. Performing with such grace and skill, I cannot help but feel that the band are hindered by playing this venue. It is essentially a shit nightclub.
By delving into their back catalogue, Torche inject beef straight into my brain. Big beef injections like ‘Safe’, and ‘Charge of the Brown Recluse’. I only wish that there were more amps in the beefy backline. I would be completely beefed oot ma nut and soil myself. Beef.
The monstrous ‘Tarpit Carnivore’ ends the set perfectly and I couldn’t really ask for a better song to signal the end of my night. And before anyone asks - aye, they did play ‘Across The Shields’. The crowd loved it and there was a huge response to it. It’s nice enough, but it sounds too much like Big Country for my liking. Not enough beef.
Torche are such a fun, positive band on stage that their heaviness sucker punches you every time; their positivity cannot hide the fact that they band are one of the heaviest I have seen.
They are kind of like an e-fag; all the fun of a cigarette without all the cancerous shit that’s bad for you. They bring the heavy but with it smiles and Hawaii shirts.
Photograph and video courtesy of Bruce Cowie
Posted: Mon 17 September 2012