While Miami-bred doom pop band Torche have continued to tour the globe and release excellent records since the 2008 Spinal Tap-esque sound check punch-up between then-lead guitarist Juan Montoya (currently in Atlanta metal band MonstrO) and singer/guitarist Steve Brooks that led to Montoya's firing - there was always something missing sonically. As a power trio, Torche lacked the Montoya-created bells and whistles which made their 2nd Lp "Meanderthal" revered by guitar geeks and indie rock critics alike. Furthermore, sans Montoya, Torche didn't sound that different from Brooks' previous combo Floor - a point underlined by Floor's successful reformation last year.
So after two years as a trio (save for one tour with a temp on guitar), Torche have brought in ex-Riddle Of Steel singer/guitarist Andrew Elstner as a permanent member. Saturday night, Torche conclude their first tour with Elstner at Propaganda in Lake Worth. The tour/hazing is a bizarrely routed 10 date affair that apparently was planned with the intention of Elstner picking up his belongings in his native St. Louis without having to hire a u-haul. After crossing half of the US in 10 days, Elstner should be more than ready to play in South Florida, and prove his worth to Torche's local fan base.
The below video, shot last Friday in Richmond, Virginia, proves Elstner to be an able guitarist, accurately playing Montoya's intricate parts, and adding a few of his own. He also can sing, and his harmonies in the clip improve Torche's live sound.
It's obvious that the heavy pop hooks and guitar "bomb string" drops Brooks is known for are best dropped with a wing-man at his side. Here's hoping Torche remain a two-guitar army for the rest of their career.