After their full-length debut ...To the Beat of a Dead Horse put them on the hardcore map, Touche Amore packed their bags and criss-crossed this country (and the world) many times over to bring their emotionally charged, chaotic assault to stages and basements with everyone from La Dispute to Envy. Regardless of the events of the past couple years, Jeremy Bolm and company buckled down for their Deathwish debut to write an emotionally charged, well-focused opus for a new generation of hardcore fans. Parting the Sea Between Brightness and Me shows itself as equally moving and memorable for what is easily the year's best entry in the genre so far.
Gleaming with a brightness that didn't show much of itself the last time around, "Tilde" opens Parting with a kick to the face in terms of tempo. With flairs of trade-offs between epic-leaning peaks and blasting drums, Bolm's signature vocals give us a heartfelt look into his psyche throughout this record, with the opener setting the bar for what his voice will bring us. 'If actions speak louder than words, I'm the most deafening voice you've ever heard' shouts Bolm as the track apexes with huge guitars and a cymbal-led tsunami of sound. "Pathfinder" gives us a bit of the grit we're used to, bringing in manic drums and gritty fretwork that pulses the track forward. There are still bits of lead thrown in, and these bits hit the nail straight on the head. With the tracks being as short as they are, Touche Amore pack a ton of emotion into the balance between vocals and their moving arrangements. "The Great Repetition" stands out as a high point on the record, as Bolm cries out 'for my final trick, I'll make everyone who loves me disappear / But I won't know how to bring them back', a probable ode to the disconnect of touring life that doubles as a emotional pull for anyone who is unsure of their place in life. All this while the guitars noodle in sparse, yet heart-tugging melodies to create some that while much more simple and less mosh-pit inducing is considerably more impacting on one than a breakdown.
That isn't to say they've lost their edge. "Uppers/Downers" is a blitzkrieg of drums and furious guitar strumming that will have you rushing the stage for the mic, while "Method Act" turns from a thunderous intro into a constant buildup of emotion regardless of tempo. Really, this record is a testament to their growth in terms of songwriting, a probable result of touring with a band like Envy for quite some time. And in the end, they command said injection of both melody and tension like they've been doing it all along. "Sesame" breaks down into a mid-tempo jam led by handclaps and lush guitars before returning to a buzzing cluster of guitars and Bolm capping the track with 'I need a week's rest, desperately.' But for a complete curveball, "Condolences" is a total left-field entry on the record, pairing a bright, albeit haunting piano with Bolm's voice for an almost anti-ballad. His frank, yet haunting lyrics about fantasizing about you own funeral ('If what's more important is the music playing, than who'd attend, we are the same') hit ever harder given the sonic backdrop of this track. "Amends" ends the album in a balanced fashion, brandishing both swords that this record bolsters by marrying sections of breakneck punk rock and massive guitar-led punches of sound. The last words we hear, 'For what it's worth, I'm sorry', end the album on a sullen, yet cathartic note – a testament to what this record succeeds at accomplishing from start to finish.
Though they are still a hardcore band at heart, Touche Amore step up to the plate and hit a grand slam with their second full-length Parting the Sea Between Brightness and Me. Whether you dig their first album or split, this is a well-realized step for this relatively young band. If you're not paying attention to this band, what are you waiting for? This is your invitation.
3. The Great Repetition
4. Art Official
7. Method Act
8. Face Ghost
12. Home Away from Here
Hailing from Los Angeles, Touché Amoré set themselves against the glamour and greed of their hometown culture with "...To the Beat of a Dead Horse", the passionate debut LP/CD set for release in July through 6131/Collect Records.... read more