Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Album Review: Touché Amoré – Parting the Sea between Brightness and Me

Though we may be losing Kyle Minton, who will make a post or two more before moving on to other things, we have another Kyle joining us. He's already shown his excellent writing skills (as seen below), and we are very happy to have him with us here.

Touché Amoré, a post-hardcore group hailing from Los Angeles, presents us with their second LP in Parting the Sea between Brightness and Me. The album undoubtedly maintains the band’s core sound, consisting of short, abrasive songs full of dark, pensive lyrics. However, the band shows greater maturity on Parting the Sea… with a more dynamic sound that will surely garner Touché Amoré much deserved attention from new fans. The album was recorded live with Ed Rose (The Get Up Kids, Emery, The Spill Canvas) at Black Lodge Studios and is slated to be released on June 7th through Deathwish, Inc.

While none of the songs on Parting the Sea… would have been far out of place on Touché Amoré’s previous effort, …To the Beat of a Dead Horse, the band demonstrates a clear and important progression in the depth of their sound. Touché Amore has not lost any of their edge, but a conscious effort to tone down the dissonance of the sound is evident. Many of the chord progressions on Parting the Sea… are surprisingly melodic for Touché Amoré. Frantic spasms are less evident but much more thoughtfully placed. Quiet portions with reserved guitar noodling are far more prevalent than on …To the Beat. The breathing room that results on the record is the key to success for Touché Amoré. Unlike on …To the Beat, the listener is allowed the occasional emotional reprieve, which not only makes the songs more memorable, but also allows for the pummeling sections to have a greater impact. It is in the rise and fall of emotion that Parting the Sea... finds its beauty.

Vocalist Jeremy Bolm brings depth to the record with very personal lyrics in which he deals with inner demons. While the lyrical content doesn’t exactly deviate from the material covered on …To the Beat, the delivery is sincere, greatly strengthening the band’s appeal. Ed Rose’s production allows Jeremy to shine through a very clean mix of instrumentation, highlighting one of Touché Amoré’s greatest assets.

Parting the Sea between Brightness and Me establishes Touché Amoré as a band with character that is capable of progression while staying true to their fan base. While an old fan will be hard pressed to find something to complain about on Parting the Sea.., the band definitely has opened up their music to a wider audience of less diehard fans of the genre by creating more palatable and thought-provoking art. With Parting the Sea…, Touché Amoré has progressed their monotonous angry drone to a thoroughly enjoyable dynamic introspective on life. 

Track List

1. ~
2. Pathfinder
3. The Great Repetition
4. Art Official
5. Uppers/Downers
6. Crutch
7. Method Act
8. Face Ghost
9. Sesame
10. Wants/Needs
11. Condolences
12. Home Away From Here
13. Amends

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