Touché Amore - Parting The Sea Between Brightness and Me
2011, Deathwish Inc.
Since I'd never really properly sat down to actively listen to an album by Touché Amore (as opposed to just idly letting it play on in the background), I only really had the vaguest of ideas what to expect. I knew words like 'post-punk', 'screamo', 'emocore' and such had been tossed around in various configurations in online blurbs and reveiws that I'd scanned quickly, but more often than not it's really difficult to get a proper grasp on what a band sounds like from those kinds of descriptors, if not downright impossible. The tracks I'd heard previously had left no lasting impression in my long term memory, so I basically had no clue to what was going to erupt from my speakers as I hit the play button.
What did erupt, starting with the enigmatically titled ~, was something both intensely melodic and emotional and yet raging and furious and untamed. With elements of aggression and intensity taken from hardcore/punk and the melodic and more complexely structured elements from emo, Touché Amore's music is an extremely diverse affair. I find myself drawing comparisons to such different bands as Converge, Quicksand, Dag Nasty and Fugazi. There are tons of stuff going on all the time; little melodies weaving in and out of the mix, quick tempo shifts and short breaks, sometimes with a slight dissonance, but almost always melodic. The clean crisp guitar tone works pefectly with the material; any more distortion and a lot of the subtle nuances in the songs would be lost. In fact, there's so much going on in these songs that it would be a difficult task to stay focused for any length of time if it weren't for the bands stellar song writing and the the unique style of the band's vocalist, whose mix of screaming, singing and speaking, sort of all at the same time, really give the songs an added sense of urgency and emotion.
Another amazing thing about this records is the fact that only one of the thirteen songs pass the two minute mark and still the band manages to cram the songs full of shifts and breaks and melodies and somehow not make them feel 'mathy' or chaotic. I'm fairly new to this particular style of screamo, post-hardcore or whatever kind of pigeonhole you wanto to put Touché Amore in, but this album has really opened my eyes to the genre and I feel that I definately have to go back and check out the band's earlier work more thouroughly. This is awesome stuff. Chalk up another great release from Deathwish Inc.
Opening track ~, or Tilde, below: