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Torpedoes - 'Dark Times' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/f6/e2/26/2302_TorpedoesDarkTimes_1339690685.jpg Hot

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A good listen.

Torpedoes were formed back in 2002 and hail from Southern England. The band spent many years playing live gigs all over the country to build a fan base, including for a whole year with stand in drummers after the original left. Their debut album came out in 2007 entitled ‘The Gong Show’ and was followed by more years of gigs as the band put together their follow up. In 2011 the work was finally completed and ‘Dark Times’ was released.

The album starts with a ceremonial march, like that of a military precession, before a lone tone holds and the band suddenly explode forth performing the same melody from the march but sped up on the guitar. The deep riff and drums thunder away and ‘Exit Existence’ roars into life. This one of the faster paced tracks on the release and has a dark brooding progression at its core. The same feeling is prevalent throughout the album despite many of the tracks varying in power and composition. ‘Jesusphobia’ is a chord filled guitar driven rocker that has a somewhat commercial sound to its riff. It also contains one of the more memorable choruses. ‘Tourniquet’ is built round a more grinding sleazy type of guitar work. This song also happens to be one of the best ones of the album. Almost as an opposite ‘Enough’s Enough’ is fuelled by effects laced guitar and echo on the vocals which all adds up to a track which has a very spacey feel. The closer ‘Mosquitoes’ is a two part affair and part one finds the band singing in harmony with acoustic guitar and drums. There is a thirty second gap after this fades out and slowly some weird synth pipes up before bursting into a maniacal punk style as the second half of the song finishes off the album.

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‘Dark Times’ can only be described as an unusual album given its variety of styles: but it is a good listen. It is difficult to give a solid comparison with the differing sounds on offer here, but Torpedoes have elements of post punk, stoner rock and even some gothic elements to the guitar work. The mix of influences brings to mind The Wildhearts and maybe a little Sisters Of Mercy, it also means does take a few listens to absorb all that there is to be found on this album. Razor’s strained vocals are fitting for the various musical styles, but on some of the heavier tracks it does sound a touch light. Ben clearly possessions some ability on the guitar managing to blend the various genres into a coherent mix. The production leaves a suitably dirty edge to the sound, maybe a tweak to Razor’s vocals on the more boisterous numbers might have assisted with the above point.

A unique concoction of styles and sounds that should appeal to Goth rock and punk rockers alike as well as those out for something less commercial from other genres.

Dave Scott

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