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Preview: Torche with Clutch and Lionize

Slow-motion headbanging at House of Blues Jan. 6

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In a March interview with Rolling Stone, Torche bassist Jonathan Nunez made two seemingly conflicting promises about Restarter, the band's upcoming fourth release (and first on Relapse Records): It would hit hard, and it would be pop. Nunez, who also produced the album (due Feb. 24), pointed to two tracks to hammer home his point: "Bishop in Arms" ("It's this whole Psychedelic Furs — and maybe Guided By Voices — phrasing") and "Minions" ("A classic Torche song ... a heavy, melodic crusher."). A metal band referencing indie misfits Guided By Voices might seem surprising, but not this one — Torche's three contributions to 2011's split EP with Part Chimp were all Guided By Voices covers, and it's one of the few hard-rock bands that can flex melody as well as muscle. Last month, "Minions" became the first single issued off Restarter, and it's exactly what Nunez said: oil-drilling guitars, a 4/4 sludge that's built for slow-motion headbanging and singer Steve Brooks' master-of-ceremonies chants, which have somehow gotten both more Black Sabbath and more John Hughes soundtrack with every new release. Metal purists who don't approve can still stomp on Floor — Brooks' recurring doom comet, whose April release Oblation (Season of Mist) is its first LP in a decade. Clutch headlines and Lionize opens. Tickets $38.50 (including fees).

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