After Torche lost guitarist Juan Montoya shortly after the release of their benchmark album, Meanderthal, the metal world waited to see how doom’s most likable and upbeat band would shake out after the change. Torche’s response comes by way of Songs for Singles, an EP that shows that Steve Brooks and company are still able to crank out the massive, droning pop that everyone has come to expect from them. The loss of Montoya can certainly be heard on the album, as there’s a lack of the spacious guitar work that could be found all throughout their self-titled debut and Meanderthal, but Torche seem to be making the loss work for them. Songs like “U.F.O.” and “Cast into Unknown” find the band taking a more direct approach to songwriting, opting to speak in short blasts of buzzing guitars and soaring vocals without spending a whole lot of time on drawn-out intros or atmospheric noodling. Clocking in at a little over 20 minutes, Songs for Singles presents a new and improved Torche who are as driving as ever, but with newfound brevity, successfully packing the biggest sound into the smallest package. With such a tight, urgent sound, Songs for Singles is an EP that’ll give Torche fans enough new music to whet their appetites, but it’s definitely going to leave them hungry for more.
AllMusic Review by Gregory Heaney