This is a past event.

Corrosion of Conformity 

When: Sat., June 9, 8 p.m. 2012
Price: $21

One of the strangest live pairings I have ever witnessed was when Torche opened for Dredg at the Great American Music Hall a few years ago. The former, a "doom pop" band from Miami, seemed to confound the young audience of the radio-friendly Los Gatos alt-rock/synth band, so much so that singer/guitarist Steve Brooks decided to embrace the non-response by sarcastically goading the crowd. I can only assume Torche was invited on the tour because of the "pop" descriptor that got attached to it after its 2008 album, Meanderthal, which showed the band embracing more straightforward rock hooks and soaring harmonies into its sludgy, abyss-like bottom end. But that show made it clear: Torche was a heavy band, through and through, even if it's not interested in minor-key rage and guttural growls. On the band's full-length follow-up to Meanderthal (and its first since the departure of guitarist Juan Montoya), Harmonicraft, Torche feels re-energized and renewed -- although not necessarily treading new waters. "Kicking" is pure, unabashed, rocking-out fun, with hooks that actually could be radio-friendly; ditto with "Kiss Me Dudely." Torche also shows it's still capable of blasting off your eyebrows with such amp blowouts as the minute-and-change "Sky Trials." Harmonicraft may not be as immediately catchy as Meanderthal, but it's also more impactful than the Songs for Singles EP. It's safe to say there won't be any miscalculating the band's audience again. Torche plays with Corrosion of Conformity, Black Cobra, and Gaza at Slim's (333 11th St., San Francisco) on Saturday, June 9. 8 p.m., $21. SlimsPresents.com

— Kathleen Richards

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