Wednesday 22 February 2023

Torso - A Crash Course In Terror

Labels: APF Records

Formats: Vinyl/CD/Tape/Digital

Release Date: 27 Jan 2023


1. Heads Start To Roll

2. Pranks

3. Sinking Spell

4. Depth Charge

5. Precious Blood

6. Death TV

7. Circuit Breaker Breaker

The sound of multiple jets flying over (probably on routine training flights) sounds a tad ominous from the secure comfort of my flat, but I know that noise is about to be drowned out by the sound of London's newest horror-sludge (if that's even a sub-genre) band Torso. Torso was formed out of the ashes of heavy metal/stoner band Possessor and A Crash Course In Terror is the band's debut album, having been released in late January by APF Records from Manchester.

A Crash Course In Terror is a trip of very different proportions. The keyboard tones that open ‘Heads Start To Roll’ sound like they’ve come straight from the eighties and the ripping music that follows from Torso is filled with just as much swagger. Torso is a solo-project that’s been created by former Possessor member Graham Bywater, though here keyboards are provided by Wayne Adams (on tracks 2, 4 and 7), who also recorded, mixed and mastered the album.

There’s an uneasy feeling about ‘Pranks’, which is essentially an ambient instrumental, slowing the momentum that follows the album’s first song but also providing great anticipation for the rhythmic, garage-like ‘Sinking Spell’. It’s the verses that borrow from garage-punk, while there are much heavier passages that contain harsher vocals and industrial percussive blasts as well. The variation so far is awesome. You definitely won’t get bored.

The interspersing of longer tracks with shorter interludes (if you like) is a little off-putting if you were expecting all seven songs here to hit full throttle, but then again you shouldn’t let it put you off. ‘Depth Charge’ signifies the horror aesthetic that Torso portrays, without losing any catchiness.’ Precious Blood’ is that bizarre mix of jarring, off-kilter tempos and classic/glam rock flair. It works unbelievably well when Torso’s grooving with abandon. The latter half of the song ushers in psychedelic guitar flourishes that rain light down on the record. Perfectly placed and performed. 

It follows immediately on to ‘Death TV’, which acts as the album’s final instrumental, with it’s space-age melodies and percussive effects. A Crash Course In Terror closes with the ominous sounding ‘Circuit Breaker Breaker’. The opening sample, that’s been a theme throughout the album, offers no respite before Torso’s sludgy/heavy sound becomes awash with grunge and punk. It all hits like a crazy mash-up of Perturbator, Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin, Ghost and Melvins. 

However you approach this album and whomever you draw comparisons too (if you even need too), A Crash Course In Terror is brilliant and acts as the perfect cleanser from today’s constant white noise.

You can stream and purchase A Crash Course In Terror on all physical formats (as well as digitally) below:-

Torso Instagram - @here_lies_torso

APF Records -

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