Stereogum X Amazon MP3 Friendly Deals #9: Torche’s Meanderthal

Every week, lets us select one recent release from its MP3 store to go on super sale (up to 75% off normal prices). Hopefully you’ll be able to add these must-own LPs to your library without breaking your budget.

While they landed album of the year at Decibel and were more often relegated to the lower ends of lists in indie publications (Pitchfork gave them an Honorable Mention), Torche’s second full length Meanderthal was one of the best albums of 2008 in any genre. It’s just that people need to lighten up about metal — even the poppier stuff — because like country (or, in books, romance and sci-fi), it’s often pushed into its own separate genre-relegated realm. Anyhow, Torche: We mentioned being blown away by the heavy stoner goodness of the band a couple CMJ’s ago and then the Steve Brooks-fronted Miami/Atlanta crew released the superb, Kurt Ballou-produced Meanderthal, a mix of math angles, Melvins-esque sludge, and full-on turbo-powered pop hookery. Call us blown away doubly.

Brooks has always known his way around a hook, but the things reached a zenith with these 13 dud-free tracks. The album works so well together as a whole — and that’s how we’ve come to know it — so it’s difficult singling out a song, but take a listen to “Healer” and its windswept, Superchunk/Foo propulsion to get an idea of what we’re talking about.

Torche – “Healer” (MP3)

If you want more straight-up pop adrenaline, look no further than “Grenades,” “Across The Shields,” etc. For the hearty souls out there fearing too much bubblegum softness, you’ll find slightly heavier, sludgier fare via “Sandstorm” and the grubby title track, etc. And it’s difficult denying the knotty angularity of opener “Triumph Of Venus.”

Still unsure? Today we’re making Meanderthal available at Amazon MP3 for the low price of $2.99. Not much risk there. Speaking of 2’s and 9’s, 2009 really ought to be the year Steve quits his day job. Do your part.


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Tags: Torche