Touché Amoré

Parting The Sea Between Brightness And Me

Written by: DR on 16/06/2011 18:06:17

In the words of frontman Jeremy Bolm when speaking about their debut, "...To The Beat of a Dead Horse", "When that record was being recorded we didn't even know if we were going to continue as a band very long", but nobody could have predicted it was going to sweep the emerging new 'wave' of hardcore quite like it did. On the back of the success of that album they toured basements across America, supported legends Envy, and even came across to Europe. Touché Amoré were suddenly here to stay.

Every ounce of frustration and confusion at the time was poured into their debut, manifesting itself in a record that was emotionally heavy, jarring, agitated, destined for the live environment, and ultimately a promising hardcore effort. Two years on, Bolm still sounds like he's going to vomit his insides, the songs are still short and to the point, and this is still a band that's best enjoyed in the live setting, but "Parting The Sea..." is a more thought-out than its predecessor, it's cleaner and more polished; it's a more mature record from a more mature band.

The pummelling loud/quiet, typically hardcore musicianship provides the platform for Bolm, who puts everything he has into his clearly-defined throaty screams. But he's not just monotonously shouting his way through. In "~" he closes the otherwise in-your-face opener with introspective clean vocals as delivers one of the lines of the album: "If actions speak louder than words, I'm the most deafening noise you've heard". The first three songs all leave a significant impression on the listener, especially "The Great Repetition" because of how it starts out aggressively but falls into a quiet bridge that really allows Bolm's voice to dominate, before closing in emotionally-wrought hardcore fashion.

The closing trio of songs are the strongest on the album. "Condolences" is a track you'll either love or hate (but probably love) because it's nothing more than a piano and the vocals - a major step outside of the comfort zone for this band, but even those that don't like it must admit that the experimentation is welcome after a mid-section that blended together. "Home Away From Here" is one of the strongest songs despite refusing to divert from their well-established style, but this is largely due to it being Bolm's finest performance as a song-writer and vocalist: pay attention to the way his vocals seem to choke for the line "It's not my fault, I'll try to call". Closer "Amends", much like "The Great Repetition", uses the loud/quiet dynamic to good effect; the melodic bridge and back of the room shouts before the crescendo crashes in is one of the magic moments of the album.

The middle section keeps "Parting The Sea..." from being something truly special - whether this is down to a lack of consistency or a lack of experimentation - it's somewhat overshadowed by the trios of songs that start and finish the album. The entire album is only twenty-minutes long, however, so this doesn't have an especially detrimental effect on the overall listen - they are still good songs - just ones that'll be appreciated in the context of the album rather than individually.

Because of the short run-times, no second is wasted on choruses, vocal melodies or lyrics that don't serve the purpose of the song. This is as cathartic as albums come; everything is from the first-person perspective. This is the sound of a band that have had to grow up quickly, away from home, in a short space of time. "Parting The Sea Between Brightness And Me" will delight members of the community Touché Amoré have become a big name within, while the rest of us will be eagerly awaiting where they're heading with the next one.


Download: Home Away From Here, ~, Amends, The Great Repetition
For The Fans of: La Dispute, Defeater, Make Do And Mend
Listen: Myspace

Release Date 07.06.2011
Deathwish Inc

Touche Amore "Tilde" by deathwishinc

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