Last summer, when I interviewed guitarist Juan Montoya, co-founder of Florida underground-metal powerhouse Torche, he explained to me one of the differences between he and his bandmate (and friend of 15-plus years), singer-guitarist Steve Brooks: Steve is the more realistic one in the band and Im the one thats always like, Were gonna be the best! Were gonna rock out! Lets go to Japan by the end of the year! I make all these crazy goals and hes like, Dude, youre a daydreamer Apparently, realism has won out, because Montoya was asked to leave the band in late 2008 due to vague-but-ever-popular personal and professional reasons, reducing Torche to a trio (they have no plans to replace Montoya). Part of what made last years breakthrough album Meanderthal such an amazing, compelling listen was the collision of the pairs disparate styles and influences Brooks was into death metal like Entombed and Deicide, while Montoya brought to the band a love of My Bloody Valentine, Jawbox, and Cocteau Twins; they found common ground in the Melvins, whom Torche occasionally resembled both on the disc and live. How the band moves forward with Brooks firmly in charge is anyones guess, but tonights show should provide at least some answers.
Sun., April 5, 7 p.m., 2009