REVIEW: Torsion - Self-Titled

By Marcus Pan

Chain Border

TorsionSelf-TitledIn the summer of '97, Torsion formed around the idea of "sensual noise." Their debut self-titled EP is a strong release, filled with solid and powerful guitar riffs, solid bass lines, rhythm-enhancing drum tracks and sultry female vocals. On the CD are four songs to satiate the new Torsion fan along with the promise of more to come. Indeed, they are in the studio at last check recording a full-length album. I'm also happy to say I intend on making their live show at Downtime in New York City on 4/20/2000 where they're playing with Tapping The Vein, among others. I'm quite looking forward to it. As Kathryn, Torsion's sexy and riveting vocalist explains, "no song is 'complete' until you see how the band portrays it." I expect it to be a great show from what I've heard here.

Torsion are made up of Kathryn (vocals), Jeff (guitar - and the newest member to the group), William (bass) and George (drums/keyboards/programming). Their work reminds me of female-fronted industrial sex-tinged Kidney Thieves, or maybe Scissorkiss out of Boston. Acts Magdelena (NYC area) also come to mind. The four songs Torsion includes here for us to skank about to are Turn Away, Pain, Clouded and Desperate.

SingerTurn Away features a strong bass line, and I love the scraping background. Sexy female vocals cordially provided by Kathryn leads us to a powerful chorus with strong and clean guitars. In Pain you once again enjoy a nice moving bass line. They keep the scraping background thing going, but it's a little lighter this time. Vocals are still sultry and drip with sexual energy. On track three with Clouded, Torsion slows it down a bit with a cloudy and atmospheric piece. Bass and drums are the driving force that guide the track to a close. Guitars that come in later during the chorus are strong yet smooth. Nice balance of instruments, none too overpowering.

My favorite of this release, blending some EBM stylee computeresque movements with thrashier industrial and deep, overpowering vocals by Poppy is the closing Desperate. Clearly a classic to be. Guitars have an almost grunge-like, droning attachment to them but don't lag like other riffwork of this style I've heard recently. Accomplishes a nice dragging but not-droning feeling for the track. Desperate tells the story of how difficult it really is to leave someone you've fallen for - yet you know they're totally wrong for you. But the addiction is already there…sometimes strong enough to make heroin look like lemon juice.

There seems to be a lot of up and coming industrial, rivet-style music on its proverbial way and its good to see my coast with lots of representation. Torsion have a lot to offer the industrialite with well-executed arrangements and excellent, sex-laced vocals. Enjoyable, stompable and a great addition to my growing collection alongside Scissorkiss, Kidney Thieves, Acts Magdalena and other female-fronted groups. Look forward to their full length. And come with me to see them this Thursday at Downtime (251 West 30th St., New York City)! I'll be the big fuzzy headed one (hey, lemme lone, I'm out of razors) bouncing around and drooling over Kathryn.

Contact Information:
Post: Mythdemeanor Music, Attn: Torsion, P.O. Box 64, Chester Springs, PA, 19425
Phone: (610) 409-0907

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