Torche were almost metal once upon a time. These days, they're almost the Foo Fighters. If "Kicking," the first single from Harmonicraft, doesn't make you want to jump up and down grinning like a six-year-old in a candy factory, we can't be friends. The Miami band knows how to write hook-studded guitar pop with just a tinge of heaviness better than anyone around. They still venture into the sludgy realms they inhabited on their 2005 self-titled debut album and 2008's Meanderthal, but Harmonicraft is basically the next step after 2010's Songs for Singles. Once again, they blend huge psychedelic guitars from '90s alt rock with pop hooks made for doing donuts in a convertible. Plus, there's the occasional burst of punk rock for people who still skateboard. — Phil Freeman
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