Torch the Wagon

Between Josh Homme's various bands and Fu Manchu, Torch the Wagon's influences are easy to pick out. Even so, this isn't the stoner-rock sort of thing that was rampant here a few years back. Instead, the band takes the splintery groove of its obvious inspirations and puts some real drive behind its performances. Fortunately, the production suggests that the band has actually taken the time to not just write melodic hooks with some bite, but also to avoid the muddy mix favored by so many of its peers. "Let It Burn" and "The Electric Wizard" are a bit of a departure for Torch's core sound, but they provide some of its finest moments in shifting moods and dynamics.

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