7/20: Torche at Grog Shop

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Not to quibble, but metal is a subset of pop music. It utilizes verse-chorus song structures, and it often includes catchy hooks. So it’s strange that Miami’s Torche is such a polarizing force in heavy music. They’re a loud, guitar-oriented band with fuzzed-out tones, fast tempos and accessible vocals. It’s probably that last part that pisses off so many people. Then again, they get a lot of love too: Last year’s Meanderthal snagged the number-one spot on Decibel’s annual Top 40 albums list. Torche display many influences, but they’re more than an amalgamation of parts. They craft memorable, recognizable songs in a scene that’s usually content to reinvent and rehash Sabbath riffs (not that there’s anything wrong with that). The departure of guitarist Juan Montoya leaves the band as a trio these days. Some of the counter-melodies may not be there anymore, but the power of Torche’s riffs prevails. Along with other southern-fried rock bands like Kylesa, Mastodon and Baroness, Torche prove that good music can bridge genres, scenes and generational gaps. Harvey Milk kick things off at 8 p.m. at the Grog Shop (2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Hts., 216.321.5588). Tickets: $10 advance, $12 day of show. — Nick DeMarino

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