Atlanta/Miami band Torche plays the first of two SF dates tonight - and it should draw an interesting crowd. The last time the band stopped by the Great American (where it plays tonight; Bimbo's is tomorrow) was with Japanese sludge-mongers Boris (gong included). (They've also toured with the Sword and are soon to hit Europe with Kylesa and Coalesce.) This time around, however, the band opens for Dredg, the Los Altos band whose more mainstream, youth-oriented alt-rock songs have placed them on bills with acts like Hoobastank. Chalk it up to Torche's "doom-pop" sound - a result of a drop-tuned, destroyed bottom end mingling with actual "singing" and more melodic, catchy guitar lines and song structure (brought to the fore on its latest release, Meanderthal). While the tour is likely to introduce Torche to a younger, poppier market, the head-scratching pairing has caused some verbal friction between the two band's fans online. In other words, the crowd tonight and tomorrow should be just as revealing as the sounds emanating from the stage. Local string-metal band Judgement Day opens.