Torche, KEN Mode, Lo-Pan, Inter Arma
Event on 2013-06-14 19:00:00
Miami has earned its fair share of notoriety over the last 30 years, but most of it has been nothing to brag about: The Liberty City Riots, the Mariel Boatlift, and the Cocaine Wars of the early 1980s recast the formerly sleepy beach town/retirement colony as a lawless urban hellscape crowded with pimps, powder queens and cutthroats, where liquor-store shootouts, revenge bombings and police corruption threatened to drown the tourist trade in an ocean of blood, booze, and yayo. But now the peace-loving citizens of Miami finally have something they can hoist high as an enduring emblem of cultural and civic pride (besides KC & the Sunshine Band, Gloria Estefan and 2 Live Crew, obviously) … Enter Torche, the four-pronged Floridian Riff Colossus that has steamrolled its way across the international underground. Led by vocalist/guitarist Steve Brooks (formerly of doom dropouts Floor) and featuring the myriad talents of drummer Rick Smith, bassist Jonathan Nuñez and guitarist Juan Montoya, Torche unfurled their self-titled debut in 2005 via Richmond, Virginia's Robotic Empire. The glorious half-hour of blissed-out power-grooves, triumphant vocal harmonies and cosmic resonance within was variously hailed as "stoner pop," "thunder rock," and "doom pop," but a consensus was quickly reached within the Fourth Estate: Both the underground and mainstream press had their hands halfway down their pants just thinking about listening to Torche. The band was immediately lauded as giants among men, leaders among sheep, and powerbrokers of a deadly new sonic idiom founded upon Brooks' signature "bomb-string" detonation-detune. As Decibel magazine so righteously pointed out in May of 2005, Torche "carries on in the dizzying Sabbathian tradition of Floor, only potentially more bottomless and epic." Seven months later, the same publication would declare Torche as the # 7 album of the year in its annual top 40. "Never let it be said that bong-rock types hate hooks," Spin magazine announced. "Torche set their guitars on 'dirge,' work their vocal harmonies, and say amen to Foo Fighters' riff-o-matic preaching." "At long last, we know what life would be like in a parallel universe where the Melvins became a pop sensation instead of Nirvana," Revolver magazine added. With the verdicts in, Torche swiftly set out to slay, punish & conquer. Stateside tours with Scottish post-rock marvels Mogwai and hypno-metal heroes Isis ensued, as did a European invasion with Savannah sludge captains Baroness. "[Torche's] debut jaunt to the UK will undoubtedly leave a monumental impression on the audiences they have played for as they mix the pop-tinged catchiness of tracks such as 'In Return' and 'Erase' with the likes of 'Iron Girl' and boil it down to a cocktail of raw and powerful sludge-filled beauty," Terrorizer magazine gushed after witnessing the band's show at the Manchester Attic. Rock Sound issued similar proclamations after the London Underworld show: "Louder than a really loud thing, Torche hit the stage with all the grace and subtlety of a misfired nuclear warhead. Sounding far fiercer than on record, the Florida outfit's 'bomb-string' assault is truly a thing to behold." So: Citizens of Miami, rejoice. Music fans, exult. Torche are about to rule your stereo and your face all over again.
KEN mode (an acronym for Kill Everyone Now) is a Canadian metallic hardcore-influenced noise rock band from Winnipeg, Manitoba that was formed in September 1999. Formed by brothers Jesse (guitar/vocals) and Shane Matthewson (drums) and long-time friend Darryl Laxdal (bass), the group released several demos from 1999 to 2003, leading to the release of their debut full length Mongrel on Escape Artist Records. Several tours followed with the likes of Relapse Records' The End , Sulaco and American Heritage  in addition to regional dates with Mastodon, Burnt By The Sun, Anodyne, Pelican, Harkonen, Breather Resist, The Dream is Dead, Psyopus, Daughters, and Buried Inside across the Midwestern and East Coast United States, and throughout Canada. In 2004 Laxdal left the band, only to rejoin in 2005 to finish the band's follow-up record Reprisal, released in 2006 on CD by Escape Artist Records, and on double-LP by No List Records. After the recording of Reprisal Laxdal and the band parted ways again. Picking up bass duties after Laxdal's departure was Drew Johnston (guitarist in Electro Quarterstaff) who also played with Jesse, Shane and Darryl in Hide Your Daughters. In October 2006 the band took part in the "Exclaim! Magazine Aggressive Tendencies Tour" with Pelican and Daughters across Canada. Bass duties were handled by former Kittens and Projektor member Jahmeel Russell who played with Jesse, Shane and Drew in Hide Your Daughters. KEN mode went on to work with Jahmeel for the band's third full-length, Mennonite, which was released in July 2008 on CD by Jesse Matthewson's own label, Arctodus Records, and on 3×7" vinyl by No List Records. Prior to releasing Mennonite, Chad Tremblay joined the band as their fourth bassist in two years. The band embarked on a European tour with Welsh rockers Taint. Chad would go on to direct the bands debut music video for the song "Extending Common Courtesy Throughout The Evening" from their Mennonite album. In 2010 the band announced that Profound Lore Records will release its fourth full length album, titled Venerable, to be recorded August 2010 with Kurt Ballou of Converge. They also announced several North American tours with Gaza, Engineer, Rosetta, Buried Inside, Wolvhammer, Clinging To The Trees Of A Forest Fire, and others.
There is a hidden world where ancient evil weaves a modern mystery. A world filled with the darkest magic's where all movement is caused by tensions between positive and negative furies. A world in which the furies, when out of balance, turn into demon and live forever. A creature of fast dark destructive power. Repulsive and evil existing only to plague the living as they do with LO-PAN, who is cursed. Cursed with rock and roll genius. Born out of a combination of dirty rock and roll, stale beer and an unhealthy obsession with "Big Trouble In Little China," Columbus's Lo-Pan have been tearing up the club circuit since 2005. Lo-Pan burst onto the local scene with their locally released self-titled album back in 2006. The local buzz gave way to more national attention as bands told bands and Lo-Pan began gracing venues big and small with names like Red Giant, Devil To Pay, Torche, Saviours, Year Long Disaster, Red Fang, Valkyrie, & the Atomic Bitchwax (just to name a few). Fast forward five years and there's hardly a band worth playing with that they haven't shared a stage with. Enter the sophomore release, "Sasquanaut." Initial pressings on local indie Nice Life Records sold out quickly and as before the best praise is when one band on the road tells another "Hey, man you've got to check this out." Which brought them, album masters in hand to us here at Small Stone. "Sasquanaut" had all the makings of a classic, thunderous low ends, pummeling drums, riffs to die for and a voice that soars but for all the genius that shone through it was still rough around the edges (don't get us wrong we love rough around the edges). So we checked them in to a proper studio and left them in the capable hands of Benny Grotto for a little remixing, a little re-mastering and just ever so much re-recording. Enter Sasquanaut, mark 2: "Sasquanaut (Remixed & Re-mastered)." Heavier, more dynamic, louder and just that tiny bit more polished, this is the album that bands and fans new they could make. Mere words just can't do justice to the effect that a little more time and the proper equipment have had on these eight raging tracks. Maybe a quote from the bands namesake might sum it up. "When some wild-eyed, eight-foot-tall maniac grabs your neck, taps the back of your favorite head up against the barroom wall, and he looks you crooked in the eye and he asks you if ya paid your dues, you just stare that big sucker right back in the eye, and you remember what ol' Jack Burton always says at a time like that: "Have ya paid your dues, Jack?" "Yessir, the check is in the mail." The boys heads back into the studio for a proper follow-up this fall and look for the band on tour this winter and remember IT'S ALL IN THE REFLEXES!
From Robotic Empire: Two groups of hellbent hessian heathens have joined forces for this mighty split EP. Richmond, Virginia is home to a lot of metal bands, but arguably two of the finest up-and-comers have paired up for this killer platter of 7" wax. BATTLEMASTER and INTER ARMA both debut on vinyl for the first time with this new offering; two choice cuts on side A and one lengthy bruiser on the flipside. Shredding guitar players, inhuman hummingbird drummers, scathing burning-witch vocalists…there's not much more you can ask for. First press, limited to 500 copies.
at Baby Castles
Brooklyn, United States