Sometimes we just shake our heads and mumble to ourselves, "Nashville, where the fuck are you tonight?' Wednesday at Exit/In was one of those nights. Were you at home watching that Bill Cosby special on NPT? Were you at a Basil Marceaux dot com dot rally gaining immunity from state laws and railing against the evils of traffic stops? Were you fighting with Vince Young at a titty bar in Dallas? Were you crying yourself to sleep on your hair gel-stained pillow, wiping your tears with an Affliction knock-off shirt that says something awful like “Jesus Is My Stylist” because the Dove Awards are moving to Atlanta? No? Are you sure? Well, you definitely weren't at the Torche show.
Which, frankly, is a damn shame.
We showed up just in time to miss the unannounced semi-local openers previously known as TBA, who are actually named Demeanor, which is a terrible name. Awful name. Not Safetysuit terrible, but close. The band, on the other hand, is pretty cool — we looked them up when we got home — rocking the noisy metal duo thing we dig so much, and would have been just what we need to bust out of our hump-day doldrums.
The first band on the bill that was, you know, on the bill, was BEINGS. Where Torche make big fuzzed-out pop tunes and zig into the dark waters of doom metal, BEINGS zag into a sound that recalls some of the more awesome moments of early-'90s post-hardcore. Think Nation of Ulysses and Naked Raygun house-sitting for Universal Order of Armageddon. We dug it.
We're not gonna lie: We spent all day rocking out to Meanderthal, Torche's 2008 masterwork — that record's going to age really well, mark our words — so we were more than a little ready to rock the fuck out. Torche — or Torchy! Torchi! Torche! as they're known amongst the new jack swingers — did not disappoint, despite the small crowd. Nope, this is one killer live band. If there was a specific sound for the sheer excitement of a straight-edge kid getting stoned for the very first time, it would sound a hell of a lot like Torche — somewhere between drunk sex and running from the cops. Inebriated. Excited. Or maybe that was just us.
They're touring as a four-piece, and they sound fantastic. It's just a wall of puttin'-the-"amp"-in-amplified sound, and four dudes bouncing around and rocking way out, enjoying themselves onstage — visibly, unmistakably — far more than we're used to here in Music City. Torche are very much in the classic Florida style, as defined by Hot Water Music before they sold out and went to Epitaph — we're secretly still 17 and holding a grudge about that — but way more metal, obviously. And not wanky, douche-codpiece metal, but the cosplay-free variety that just rips right through you with its bare claws and shakes the shit out of your internal organs until you're just a pile of goo. And then they play another pop song — shake, repeat. You should've been there, Nashville.