(Pic. : www.reaxmusic.com)
On the ZxZw festival this year, I had the chance to see the sludge-pop band Torche. That night the club was so packed that I couldn’t enjoy myself anymore and on top of that the sound was terrible! The guitar-sound was so loud, that you couldn’t hear any vocals at all and with Torche that is an essential part of their unique sound. So I decided to go and see them again on the last show of their European tour in Rotterdam.
First band that night was a new Dutch band called Simon. This band exists out of members from well known bands as Face Tomorrow and Dreadlock Pussy. Simon is nothing like those bands though! You can pin-point this band in the postcore/sludge corner. Musically this band reminds me of bands like Isis. They even use the same clean vocal parts as their bigger brother Isis. Although it’s probably too easy to say that Simon is a decent copy of Isis, they are not really original. The musicians in this band are routine musicians and you can tell that, but I think this band is still looking for its own identity. This kind of stuff is done better by bands like Cult Of Luna and others. I do think this band will get there though! Try to get an own identity and doors might open up.
This tour is actually a headline tour of Pelican, with Torche as a support-act, but from the beginning it was obvious that almost all the visitors were there for Torche. This band is probably one of the most talked about sludge/stoner bands this year. The phenomenal new album Neanderthal is sold out everywhere. This being the last show of their European tour, it was expected that this should turn out to be a special night. And so it did! Their drummer entered the stage in a ‘burka’, looking like a terrorist from hell. From the very first tone this band produced, the audience was blown away by the sheer power and volume. Thank god for earplugs! They started their set with one of the songs from their Neanderthal record. It’s been a long time, that I’ve seen a band playing with such enthusiasm and joy. These guys were giving a 100%, with a huge smile and laugh on their faces. Pelican had a special way of saying goodbye to the guys of Torche that night. In between songs when Steve Brooks wanted to make some announcements and statements to the audience, a tape with bad 70/80’s disco music was played in the PA. During the whole set we heard a lot of crappy disco shit in between the Torche songs. It was an amazingly powerful show, with a set-list that consisted out of songs from both full lengths and the In Return 10” EP. When you thought it couldn’t get any heavier; the band surprised their oldschool fans with two old Floor covers, namely ‘Iron Girl’ and ‘Tales Of Lolita’. Brilliant! For the people who don’t know, Floor is basically pre-Torche! In their encore they ended in a noisy, sludgy chaos and ended up playing in the middle of the crowd, using the audience as the musicians. Perfect ending for a truly amazing, mind-blowing show!
First of all I have to say, that I’m really fond of the band Pelican and lately I don’t understand their tour choices! Like on the High On Fire tour, Pelican shouldn’t play after powerhouses like High On Fire and Torche. It’s like getting a handjob, after you got laid for the tenth time in a row. It doesn’t work! The audience is severely blown away by their support-act, therefore their own instrumental postcore/ sludge came across as a little weak. It was already difficult as an instrumental band to keep the attention of a crowd, but after such brutal and good support-acts it’s almost impossible. That’s probably why the audience had been reduced by half by the time they started. They still did a good job, but the contrast was too big. Too bad, they deserve better. (RoyBalowski)