Touché Amoré


Written by: PP on 23/12/2020 16:36:31

Back around when "Parting The Sea Between Brightness And Me" was released nine years ago, I claimed Touché Amoré was one of the most important bands in hardcore right now. Looking back at the string of brilliant albums they've released since then, culminating in the fifth album "Lament" this year, it no longer reads like a preposterous statement rather than a statement of fact. Throughout the last decade, this band has perfectly brought together the worlds of emo and hardcore, in effect bridging post-hardcore with hardcore itself and vice/versa, through hauntingly beautiful, cacophonic records that ooze of Scandinavian cold winters in the guitar department and raw screamo passion in Jeremy Bolm's vocals.

"Lament", like its predecessors, continues to build on classic quiet/loud dynamics embedded within a desperation-laden, melancholic soundscape. The opening track "Come Heroine" is essential Touché Amoré: tormented screams echoing screamo origins, with punk-laden tempo and strong emotional charge leaving behind a sense of controlled chaos overall. If you've explored their back catalogue, you'll find it similarly explosive and raspy, relying on the same tried-and-tested dynamic that never fails to impress. Yet the band are also stepping outside their comfort zone, as seen on "Reminders". Here's an infectiously catchy track that loans more from pop as a genre than any Touché song to date, yet when wrapped within Bolm's raspy scream, the upbeat elements transform into a perfect blend of melancholia, sadness, and frustration of the best, desperate kind. It's a different look for Touché Amoré for sure, but it works great!

And if it's ambiance you're out for, look no further than "Limelight". Quiet, balladic guitars and subdued percussion allow Bolm's vocals to come into their own, and much like its predecessor "Stage Four", explores a more ambient, post-rock influenced soundscape than the band's classic d-beat style emo/post-hardcore that you'll find on a track like "Feign" ("I say the wrong thing... at the perfect time"). Likewise, "I'll Be Your Host" draws from melancholic ambiance to deliver a beautifully orchestrated piece of post-hardcore, whereas "Exit Row" is again more -core in its expression: think shredded, ripping guitars and more screamo-esque delivery overall.

The only blooper on "Lament" is possibly the final track, "A Forecast". Here' Touché gets a tad political: "I've lost more family members / Not to cancer, but the GOP", which is the only moment on the record that feels forced rather than the typically honesty-driven passion that characterizes all other songs on the record.

"Lament", as usual, features a strong performance by Touché Amoré: it feels as desperate and intense as "Parting..." did nine years ago, but continues the stylistic expansion of "Is Survived By" and "Stage Four" by stretching their palette beyond classic post-hardcore and screamo. It's another brilliant example of why Touché Amoré is one of the best bands in their genre: the urgency, the immediacy, the sense of this is happening right now is palpable throughout.

Download: Reminders, Come Heroine, Exit Row, I'll Be Your Host, Feign, Limelight
For the fans of: Comadre, La Dispute, Departures, Defeater, Traktor, Refused
Listen: Facebook

Release date 09.10.2020

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