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  -  Pianos Become the Teeth - The Lack Long After (http://www.absolutepunk.net/showthread.php?t=2477232)

Adam Pfleider 10/14/11 12:29 AM

Pianos Become the Teeth - The Lack Long After
 
Pianos Become the Teeth - The Lack Long After
Record Label: Topshelf Records
Release Date: November 1, 2011

I usually like to spend more than a week with a record before I review it. I like to give it time to settle in and see what sort of return it can have in time. I want to absorb everything it has to offer with as many listens as possible. But sometimes a record just hits on the first couple of plays. As a critic (or just a general elitist prick as we are often seen as), we can tend to over-analyze more than we should. I find some of the best records are the ones that connect at the moment you make it through upon first listen. Over a week ago at 10 a.m., sitting on the floor and staring at a lyric booklet on my computer screen, I could feel every nerve in my body grab hold and wrench the nerve next to it.

I often find the general public of listeners adhering to television soundtracks and the radio alike usually listen to music for two reasons: initial aesthetic pleasure or connecting to what I usually deem "the worst lyrical disaster because you caught your significant other cheating" or whatever it may be. There is a certain group of people which I consider a majority that will never digest some of the most beautifully heartbreaking music there is. A band that has no lyrics, what's that? Why is he screaming? About what? Where is the hook or chorus? For those people, The Lack Long After will not be digestible. It is an album of utter anguish by definition. As another friend put it, it's a record that's hard to pick back up once you've made it through once. On Old Pride, Pianos Become The Teeth's last album, vocalist Kyle Durfey opened up about dealing with his father's illness and death on "Cripples Can't Shiver" - a cornerstone to an already great record and miles away from the band's faltering Saltwater disc. When Durfey lets his feelings out after the spoken sample from his mother at the end of the track, it's a leveling moment of loss felt through the speakers. For Durfey to write an entire record as a follow-up around the feelings and mental disaster of losing someone that close is commendable in its own right. Reading along to every word on the record can be at times unbearable if you've ever been in the same position - and we all either have or will be at one time or another.

The music and production make the perfect accompaniment to the vocals and poetry on The Lack Long After. After many repeat listens, I still lose all feeling down the back of my spine when Durfey screams "And I think that I felt more inside you than I would have liked," in the distance against bright, soft tones climbing until the guitars come hammering down in a counterpoint of frustration on "Shared Bodies," but it's "Liquid Courage" that is the most painful to swallow. The opening pounding of the snare and floor tom immediately grabs your attention from ear to ear. As the guitars quietly make their way in, Durfey sounds the most distant on the mix during this part of the record. It's the most unnerving moment as you sense that these lyrics may have been the hardest to share - like they were meant to be heard as the dark thoughts they are, instead of a lyrical movement and layer they're presented as. While the music then begins to beautifully build and climax, everything collapses right into "spine," the angriest track on the record. It's a song that encapsulates the moment when you know you can't do a thing, and the person you love will be lost. It is the moment when we breakdown. It's the tears at a funeral and beforehand at the bedside or after the worst call you can receive at an hour you're unprepared to handle.

After the harmonic guitar slides to close out "Sunsetting," we see a side of Pianos Become the Teeth that I don't believe anyone could have expected. The bright twinkle of the closing "I'll Get By" is only enhanced by Durfey's cleanest vocals to date. When he sings "I just wish I would have had ears for more than what you said because I still feel the lack long after," that's when your heart shatters as the line is a jagged rock thrown through the window in your chest. There are few times when you see or hear something in any sort of media that takes you back for a minute, especially since we're mostly desensitized by the constant push of boundaries and the ever-changing cultural intake and social acceptance. Having a hard time digesting the first few listens of The Lack Long After is necessary to connect back to something heartfelt and real.

Punk music wasn't built around beauty. Hardcore was never about lush pop tunes you could drown yourself in. At some point though, someone decided that listening to Dag Nasty and The Smiths was okay. A lot of people like to think they know what screamo is, and I'm not going to be the person to define it by any means. What I do understand from listening to records from bands such as Raein and Funeral Diner is that a couple of kids figured out a way to write emotionally charged music both instrumentally and vocally. While most of the genre is riddled with songs about love and loss romantically - I've rarely come across an album in the genre that cuts through a nerve of love we're all attached to until the day we see our loved ones tied up to wires in a hospital bed, or worse - taken without a final word. The Lack Long After captures that moment, that headspace and that heartache perfectly. When you get the chance to hear this album, don't just throw it on and begin crawling around the Internet or cleaning your house. Take forty minutes, put on some headphones and follow along with every deep cut of Durfey's tongue. You'll probably sit there for a good ten minutes afterward trying to take it all in. That moment is a rare experience where music transcends a flat feeling of enjoyment into an overwhelming feeling of deep connection. That's when you know an album holds some sort of grander power.

Track Listing1. I'll Be Damned
2. Good Times
3. Shared Bodies*
4. Such Confidence
5. Liquid Courage***
6. spine*
7. Sunsetting
8. I'll Get By**

*key tracks


Reminds Me OfFuneral Diner's Doors Open; Explosions in the Sky's Those Who Tell the Truth...; Thursday's Full Collapse

tuuttuut 10/14/11 01:56 AM

I hate you. I've been dying for this album. Glad it's good.

If you'd want a Recommended if you like, although it' unnecessary: Touché Amoré, La Dispute. Powerful, emotional music.

aradiantsunrise 10/14/11 02:52 AM

What a great review. I was shaking a little bit as I read it, because I know I'm going to relate to these lyrics so much. It's gonna make me think about my uncle (who was like a father to me) who passed away years ago. This album is going to be so beautiful and painful to listen to. I wish I could have it right now. I have no doubt that it's going to be my AOTY.



Btw, in the third paragraph, you said loose instead of lose. Haha.

theotheryabs 10/14/11 03:39 AM

DO WANT :explode:

cwhit412 10/14/11 05:10 AM

Second sentence, "I' isn't capitalized.

Ryan Gardner 10/14/11 05:11 AM

Really great review. Got this yesterday and it's all I listened to.

Absolutely heartwrenching. So emotional.

SomedayTheFire 10/14/11 05:35 AM

The two songs I heard were ok. I think(hope they'll be better in the album as a whole. But I'm kind of missing the more melodic parts of their songs. Your reminds me of however includes EITS and that ups my anticipation even more

robdobi 10/14/11 05:37 AM

didn't expect someone on ap to mention funeral diner, i always thought they sounded like them.

NotebookMusic 10/14/11 05:52 AM

I need this.

thispartysux128 10/14/11 06:37 AM

alright...this convinced me...topshelf records here I come

Sic Transit Zeb 10/14/11 07:06 AM

Real pumped to listen to this. Good review, man. You've got me more than excited for this.

circletheworld 10/14/11 07:09 AM

this review made me look forward to this even more

Alex DiVincenzo 10/14/11 08:05 AM

Excellent review. Jealous you have this.

S7ranburgLar 10/14/11 09:32 AM

good review
this is the second time in as many days i've heard harsh criticism of saltwater. i didn't realize it was so poorly received. certainly not on par with old pride, but i remember enjoying it...

Adam Pfleider 10/14/11 09:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by S7ranburgLar (Post 96433252)
good review
this is the second time in as many days i've heard harsh criticism of saltwater. i didn't realize it was so poorly received. certainly not on par with old pride, but i remember enjoying it...

it's just not a solid debut and didn't garner any return for me. A LOT of bands I like have those. I'm not fond of Vancouver by La Dispute at all either, and if you listen to early Converge, Coalesce or Cave In records (not sure why I chose all C's) they're not "great" or even worth repeats. but bands grow stronger and they make amazing records like this, and that's worth more than any sort of "meh" debut.

Mr. November 10/14/11 09:58 AM

Can't wait to listen to this

dash64 10/14/11 10:03 AM

So excited for this! Great review.

Ryan Gardner 10/14/11 12:02 PM

This album was really hard to stomach first listen - in a good way. It's so emotional - vocally and lyrically.

BIGSALE 10/14/11 01:12 PM

WOW i love this band that's why i try reading the review, but honestly i get bored half way through most reviews i read but i HAD to finish this one it wrapped me up and i couldn't get out if i tried. In closing this is anAWESOME review, and i can't wait to hear this record

Drew Beringer 10/14/11 01:46 PM

I really enjoy this album.

KingsCrossing 10/14/11 01:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by robdobi (Post 96426532)
didn't expect someone on ap to mention funeral diner, i always thought they sounded like them.

Adam is one of the only staffers opinion who I trust here.

S7ranburgLar 10/14/11 02:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Adam Pfleider (Post 96433362)
it's just not a solid debut and didn't garner any return for me. A LOT of bands I like have those. I'm not fond of Vancouver by La Dispute at all either, and if you listen to early Converge, Coalesce or Cave In records (not sure why I chose all C's) they're not "great" or even worth repeats. but bands grow stronger and they make amazing records like this, and that's worth more than any sort of "meh" debut.

fair points, and i wasn't listening to it as an album experience.
i threw it on walking about in my day's business, and treated it as a demo of songs so i see what you're saying.

Funny you mention Vancouver, cause it's basically the same story in their case for me too. It was how I got into them for their latest release. Wildlife is an incredible album definitely meant to be taken in as a whole.

Ryan Gardner 10/14/11 02:25 PM

The end of "I'll Get By" is devastating

a speedo model 10/14/11 02:41 PM

Yeah, pre-ordering this now.

ToUsFools 10/14/11 02:55 PM

I need to listen to this right now. I'm not all that fond of Old Pride, but this sounds absolutely heartbreaking. What's with bands making music this year that tears you apart?

Jaytothesyg 10/14/11 09:43 PM

Holy shit, Awesome review. I guess I'm going to have to definitely check this out with lyrics in hand and no other way. The same thing kind of happened with Wildlife, didn't hit me till I had lyrics

silent_platypus 10/15/11 01:22 AM

Powerful review. Will definitely follow the listening suggestion for optimal experience/maximum effect.

samamfee 10/15/11 12:15 PM

:-)

MBIIdollaBill 10/15/11 12:42 PM

just discovered this band recently, but love them. forgot they had this new record coming out, will have to get a hold of it ASAP!

GrantM34 10/15/11 03:12 PM

Love this band! They need to come back to the UK!

HeavenResign 10/16/11 04:54 PM

Album of the year.

AdamChildress 10/16/11 05:17 PM

I cannot wait to get this.

cgant5316 10/16/11 10:29 PM

I've always heard good things about Pianos Become the Teeth, but reading this review made me check out their stuff. I was listening to Old Pride and "Cripples Can't Shiver" came on. When his mom came on and started talking about his dad, I started tearing up. My mom was diagnosed with ALS in March, so it hit even harder once she mentioned he suffered from a form of sclerosis.

Looking forward to hearing The Lack Long After, but a little scared as well.

NotebookMusic 10/17/11 06:07 AM

Checked out their song Spine. Really liking it.

Deathco_019 10/17/11 07:28 AM

I'm definitely gonna check this out. Fantastic review.

ccccombobreaker 10/17/11 06:50 PM

Just got into these guys last week after picking up Old Pride. Definitely looking forward to this record.

fbnfranco 10/18/11 05:02 PM

Wow this is a brilliant review for a brilliant album.

low_rising 10/18/11 05:28 PM

god, im literally counting down the days until i get my hand son this.

topshelfsquad 10/21/11 09:28 AM

Thanks, Adam!

HometownHero 10/29/11 03:44 PM

Review needs more comments.

This is incredible.

Tahomas 10/29/11 04:59 PM

This album is beautiful and heartbreaking. I really can't stop listening to it.

givemegravity 10/29/11 11:16 PM

Really no mention of "Such Confidence" in this, which is the song that destroys me far worse than any other song on this album. Still, great review, great album.

fifpb99 10/30/11 08:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by givemegravity (Post 97184032)
Really no mention of "Such Confidence" in this, which is the song that destroys me far worse than any other song on this album. Still, great review, great album.

i was just gonna say that... as soon as such confidence came on it immediately hit me so fucking hard. i went back to this review to see what was said about it and, nothing...

awesome fucking album.

HeavenResign 10/30/11 07:04 PM

By the way Adam, sometimes I critique your reviews and you may or may not like that - but this was amazingly written. Your best review yet. Great job.

Jake Jenkins 10/30/11 09:42 PM

here i thought Wildlife was going to be the most uncomfortable album for me to listen to this year. man i was wrong.


So powerful. Seriously, this album needs to be heard by everyone.

givemegravity 10/31/11 05:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sophos34 (Post 97228992)
here i thought Wildlife was going to be the most uncomfortable album for me to listen to this year. man i was wrong.


So powerful. Seriously, this album needs to be heard by everyone.

My thoughts exactly.

Psib 10/31/11 11:29 AM

Just listened to this, havent really checked out this band until now. I cant believe i was missing so much! good band!

onetwentyseven 11/01/11 07:20 AM

Old Pride was one of my favorite albums of the year when it came out, but they've totally surpassed what they did on that record, if you ask me. This is one of the most honest, sad, heartfelt, angry and passionate albums I've ever heard.

The last song on this record is just perfect.

Ryan Gardner 11/01/11 11:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by onetwentyseven (Post 97288032)
Old Pride was one of my favorite albums of the year when it came out, but they've totally surpassed what they did on that record, if you ask me. This is one of the most honest, sad, heartfelt, angry and passionate albums I've ever heard.

The last song on this record is just perfect.

Exactly

Stephin_DC 11/02/11 03:00 PM

Heart

^^^
Thats all the review needed to say. Very good