Stockholm’s Like Torches ricochet the walls of your mind with their third full-length, ‘Loves And Losses’, which serves to maintain the band’s previously established momentum.
The beginning of ‘The Guilt Of Surviving’ is brittle and fibrous before splintering off into sickening fragments of Daniel Kärn‘s and Erik Thyr‘s guitar work. The ensuing vocals don’t replicate the tone so forcefully shoved in the instrumentals though, as the predicted gruff spikes fail to match the cleanness of Jonathan Kärn‘s voice. It’s almost unsettling.
The energy developed in the preceding tracks allow ‘Silver Lines’ to periodically and refreshingly flush through the chaos, like a brisk, chilled drink on a tropical day. This song cleanses your grit-lined palate so you can chew rocks again in no time, acting as an appreciated staple among the effort while ‘Flying Blind’ swiftly churns on, Zakarias Faleij‘s bass lines blistering beneath thick-skinned riffs.
The title-track dispels saturated reams of pop-punk salt and sugar, but fails to do so in an innovative manner. There’s a twang in Jonathan Kärn‘s voice that’s distantly reminiscent of Tom DeLonge (Angels & Airwaves/ex-Blink-182), but lacks the face-scrunching saccharine idiosyncrasies that makes DeLonge‘s vocal style so endearing. Switching things up a bit would give Like Torches a lease of life appreciated by the pop-punk community.
‘Firefly’ looms and tumbles. It’s pulsating but simple, revolving around the sweetness of a craved connection in a relationship. Drummer Jimmy Brunkvist kicks the song ahead with a beat reflective of a heartbeat – subtleties that give initially one-dimensionally-presenting tracks a trickling ooze of intricacy. This twang, however, works in the quintet’s favour.
With a semantically concise title, ‘Damned And Reckless’ possesses some of the richest literary lyricism out of the entire release. Imagery and metaphors flutter between the bumbling strings of a deep acoustic guitar, strummed in a singular direction to enhance the contrast between music and spoken expression.
Like Torches have exemplified that they have the talent to don a pop-punk band status. But why would they want to stop there?