Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Album Review: Pianos Become The Teeth/Touché Amoré - Split

Album Review: A
Just barely past the first week of the new year, Touché Amoré and Pianos Become The Teeth came together to release the best music of their careers. Whereas Pianos Become The Teeth build upon their last release The Lack Long After by experimenting with cleaner vocals, Touché Amoré's side clocks in at a whopping 4 minutes and 8 seconds, nearly double the length of any of their previous songs. The split features the signature raw emotion that both bands focus so passionately on, then take it even further. There's no doubt that Touché and Pianos are some of the hottest bands in the post-hardcore scene right now, with this split acting as an example of just how they continue to push their own limits.

Pianos Become The Teeth's contribution, "Hiding," begins slow with simple drum beats behind an electric guitar noodling riff that leads up to a dissonant and emotional chorus. Vocalist Kyle Durfey's voice melds into the music, featuring an often unseen cleanness that contrasts with his raspy screeches on the band's other material. The line, "But you can't stay angry forever," resonates with an emotional heaviness that will surely stick with you after a single listen. As the song ends, the drums pick up and electric guitars back the crescendo that dissipates into an echoing dissonance. While the instrumentation may go unnoticed in comparison to Durfey's strong vocals and lyricism, the intricacies of the musicianship are a great evolution from The Lack Long After. The band's risktaking vocal approach and focused, mellower composition sits in a similar vein of "I'll Get By" on their last record, a fan favorite and arguably their best and most mature song until this split release. "Hiding" is an absolute necessity for fans of Pianos' previous works, and an inviting channel for new potential fans.

"Gravity, Metaphorically" is Touché Amoré's most ambitious song to date. While the band is most notable for releasing short songs typically under 2 minutes long, their contribution to this split release goes much beyond that. The song begins with a rather predictable approach: snapping punk snares, dissonant punk riffs layered and vocalist Jeremy Bolm's trademark yells. The song breaks down and leads into a lone guitar picking, then followed up with a gradual volume increase as Bolm revs up, "It was the first time in a long time that I felt alive," before screaming a passionate, "At least I tried!" The final minute and a half continues in a similar fashion, repetitious but never boring, as the climax works up to one of the most memorable and explosive conclusions in the band's career. "Gravity, Metaphorically" will no doubt become a staple for the their live set for the foreseeable future, inducing fans to scream along and bang their heads. Fans of Pianos Become The Teeth who might not care for Touché's previous material may find something to love here: a completely matured musical package, structured in a way that makes more of an impact that their typical minute-long hardcore tracks which end abruptly before seeing much of a conclusion. Despite the fact that it is the best song of Touché's career, some fans may not care for the production which follows along the grungy path of their previous splits rather than the more refined production of Parting The Sea Between Brightness And Me.

With this split release, Pianos Become The Teeth have once again demonstrated their ability to push musical boundaries by melding elements of screamo, post-rock, and post-hardcore. "Hiding" may very well be the band's best creation, taking pure emotion coupled with textured instrumentation. Similarly, "Gravity, Metaphorically" is an example of the band branching out and experimenting. The song is the almalgamation of the elements of their previous work, ironed out, and delivered as a progressive masterpiece unlike any of Touché's other material. A hallmark in their careers, it is safe to say that this split showcases evolution for these artists. Destined to be a fan-favorite even before its release, this split will be remembered as a turning point and surely sets the precedent for their future works.


You can purchase the 7" aqua blue record from Topshelf Record's webstore here, or from Deathwish, Inc.'s webstore here. You can also purchase the songs digitally from Bandcamp.


1. Pianos Become The Teeth - "Hiding"
2. Touché Amoré - "Gravity, Metaphorically"

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