Rock & Pop

Torche

When: Tue., May 21, 8 p.m. 2013

Not to be confused with the LA indie-rock trio Torches or the LA synth-pop outfit Touché, the Miami/Gainesville/Atlanta band Torche (pronounced "Torch") has reached its own rock-pop apex, but not in the way you might imagine. What began as "doom-pop" (down-tuned, sludgy open notes and plodding tempos, but with soaring harmonies) has evolved into a highly caffeinated alt-metal/pop-sludge sound. The band hasn't always found its niche commercially or critically, despite the success of its 2008 release, Meanderthal: It's been oddly billed with mainstream alt-rock bands, and was criticized in 2009 by The Village Voice for being part of a decidedly "un-metal" scene of "dunderheaded critical darlings with banal commercialist tastes." But I doubt the writer of that critique had seen Torche live, because this band absolutely levels audiences. Call it metal, or pop, or whatever you want -- just see the band at the Oakland Metro Operahouse (630 3rd St., Oakland) on Tuesday, May 21. 8 p.m., $14. OaklandMetro.org

Kathleen Richards

Price: $14

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