In a fall 2014 interview, Torche frontman Steven Brooks described the band's then-unreleased new album as "one of the heavier records we've done." He wasn't lying. Restarter, which finally surfaced in late February, finds the Florida sludge-pop behemoths bashing through 10 weapons-grade cuts every ounce as weighty as titles like "Annihilation Affair" and "Barrier Hammer" suggest.

In a fall 2014 interview, Torche frontman Steven Brooks described the band's then-unreleased new album as "one of the heavier records we've done." He wasn't lying. Restarter, which finally surfaced in late February, finds the Florida sludge-pop behemoths bashing through 10 weapons-grade cuts every ounce as weighty as titles like "Annihilation Affair" and "Barrier Hammer" suggest.

At times, Brooks' words double as a call-to-arms. "Terror, wake up!" he cries on one track, and then, on another, "Come, my minions." The singer's bandmates follow these marching orders lock-step, moving with the brute efficiency of a conquering army on road-graders like "Minions" and "Believe It," the sonic equivalent of a prehistoric mastodon unsuccessfully attempting to wrest itself free of a tar pit.

Unlike the comparatively Technicolor Harmonicraft, from 2012, where most songs clocked in closer to the three minute pop standard, Torche isn't afraid to stretch things out this time around. The eight-plus minute title track, for one, culminates in an extended, feedback-saturated coda, as if the bandmates, like lovers parting ways at the airport, can't quite bear to let go. Not that the musicians need much time to make an impression; witness "Undone," a sub-two minute monster that leaves a yawning crater in its wake.

Nothing and Wrong open the show.

Photo by Janette Valentine