Fans of resonant, genre-bending, experimental heavy music take note: long-running Florida stoner rock meets sludge metal meets doom pop outfit Torche, celebrating the recent release of fifth LP Admission, return to town tonight, Sept. 4, to headline Mercy Lounge with Texas experimental, synthy psych/goth/doom duo Pinkish Black, and buzzy, dreamy shoegazing electropop artist SRSQ. A super cool lineup for fans of the weirder, more inventive outer edges of metal, shoegaze, dreampop, experimental rock, and beyond, tickets are available right here while they last! Snag yours now and read on for more about the show.
Formed in 2004 in the wake of Miami doom/sludge metal outfit Floor, ambient rockers Torche have, from their earliest days, been nearly impossible to categorize (a fact they seem perfectly content to embrace). While they generally operate within the metal sphere, and harbor many of the same doom and sludge metal sensibilities as several members’ prior project, as well a decidedly stoner metal bent, they’ve long channeled a weirder, brighter, more pop-primed undertone, pulling from shoegaze, ambient rock, classic metal, and much more, forging a unique sort of “doom pop” that has helped make them celebrated futures within the scene. Heralded by trendy, tastemaking outlets like Pitchfork, Torche’s unique, eclectic heavy sound has led to tours with a diverse array of artists like Mogwai, Isis, Pelican, Clutch, Black Cobra, Baroness, Jesu, The Sword, Coheed and Cambria, Stinking Lizaveta, Harvey Milk, Boris, and High on Fire, and across five full-lengths, four EPs, and 15 years of touring the globe, they’ve become a thinking man’s “metal” act, beloved by those with discerning taste if not quote a household name. The group’s latest album, Admission, comes after a bit of a lineup tweak, and showcases frontman Steve Brooks’ most personal, earnest songwriting to date, landing as the group’s most thoughtful and honed work yet. Their live show is just as dynamic and eclectic, and you don’t want to miss it!
One key clue that Torche don’t really consider themselves a metal band is the fact that none their supporting acts could really be considered conventionally metal either, albeit perhaps metal adjacent. Fort Worth, Texas outfit Pinkish Black originally began as a trio in 2005, but after the tragic suicide of bassist Tommy Atkins in 2010, opted to change their name and continue on as a duo, pushing themselves to broader experimentation using only synths, keyboards, and drums. Since their 2012 eponymous debut and three subsequent LPs, most recently this year’s Concept Unification, Pinkish Black, like Torche, have been increasingly hard to categorize, fusing experimental rock, psychedelic, doom metal, post-punk, goth rock, industrial, drone, no-wave, and electronica, frequently associated with the metal scene, like the tourmates, but never neatly fitting in (their dark and droning undertones also provide a nice counterbalance to Torche’s more shimmering, pop elements). Already a favorite of tastemaking critics, Pinkish Black’s unique, synth-soaked, dark and experimental sound should be essential listening for fans of inventive, artsy heavy music.
SRSQ (pronounced seer-skew) is the solo project of Kennedy Ashlyn, and is the least heavy act on the lineup, instead finding common ground with the dreamy, shoegazing, electronic, goth, and retro elements of the other groups. Like Pinkish Black, SRSQ was born out of grief and tragedy, after Cash Askew, Kennedy’s closest friend and collaborator in buzzworthy former project Them Are Us Too, sadly lost his life in the Oakland Ghost Ship fire of 2016. Funneling her grief into an earnest, hazy, lush, electronic, poppy, and retro new sound, Ashlyn made her SRSQ debut last fall with stunning effort Unreality, quickly attracting buzz and becoming a fixture of the indie underground. Hopefully this tour serves as an introduction for a whole new host of fans, and we urge you to show up early and see this excellent newcomer in action!
Torche, Pinkish Black, and SRSQ will perform tonight, Sept. 4 at Mercy Lounge. The show is 18+, begins at 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.), and tickets are available to purchase for $18.