Pianos Become The Teeth/Touche Amore

Split

Written by: DR on 15/01/2013 10:07:51

Given how the split record has boomed in recent years to become one of the indie label's favourite sons, it was really only a matter of time before the combination of Pianos Become The Teeth and Touche Amore, two of the most popular hardcore bands at the moment, was put to vinyl. Fortunately, though, this is one of the more noteworthy splits in recent memory, because although there is only one song offered from each, they both show a great deal of progression from their respective 2011 releases and even hint towards the future directions of both bands.

Pianos Become The Teeth's effort, "Hiding", sees them continue further into the sonic territory that the phenomenal "I'll Get By" saw them head towards. Whereas before they thrived on being devastatingly chaotic, now they are more restrained, the instrumentation slower and more spacious, and there's a sense they have matured beyond their screamo roots without completely abandoning them. Led by Kyle Durfey as he makes the transition from screamer to singer and back again, there's now a greater dichotomy between the lighter, twinkly post-rock melodies and the crushing emotionally wrought crescendos. The instrumentation seamlessly swings from bright to bleak and is as unaffectedly good as ever, but Durfey's transformation - losing none of his poignancy in the process - is particularly impressive and especially serves to highlight the eloquence of his song-writing. It's less aggressive than anything Pianos have done before, and in places it does feel like a transitional song, but "Hiding" promises an interesting future for Pianos as it proves they can execute more control, be less aggressive, yet still be the most affecting band in the scene.

Attributed to their short attention spans by frontman Jeremy Bolm, the most defining factor of Touche Amore's music previous to this was that their songs were short, cathartic, and to-the-point, resulting in them barely lasting one or two minutes. Seemingly indicating that Touche Amore may flesh their songs out more in the future, "Gravity, Metaphorically" clocks as their longest song to date by lasting just over four minutes. However, the change isn't a totally convincing one - at least not yet. The excellent first two minutes are classic Touche Amore: charging out of the blocks with a rally of pummeling hardcore rhythms and Bolm's throaty yell, but thereafter, as they try to draw their format out, is where the song starts to wear thin. The lofty instrumental bridge leads into a rudimentary plodded build up, followed by a 'sweeping' culmination of modest post-rock-inspired guitar-scapes beneath Bolm's insipid cries of "At least I tried!". What starts out very brightly fades, as Touche Amore's trademark energy - which is so important to their records in off-setting the occasional lyrical misstep - seems to wane as the song goes on, which only serves to highlight how under-developed the song-writing feels in the climax.

It's unlikely that fans of either band will be disappointed in this split, because despite the fact neither song is close to either's best or worst material, they do suggest that the evolution and future of both bands will be exciting, which will only serve to increase demand for full-lengths from both in 2013. Ultimately, though, this feels like a transitional split. For both bands there is a sense that they know where they want to take their music but haven't fully worked out how to get there, although the transition is much smoother for Pianos Become The Teeth's effort than Touche Amore's.

Download: Hiding
For The Fans of: Pianos Become The Teeth, Touche Amore
Listen: Bandcamp

Release Date 08.01.2013
Topshelf/Deathwish

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