Pianos Become The Teeth/Touché Amoré – Split
Release Date: January 8, 2013
Record Label: Topshelf/Deathwish
It’s almost surprising that this didn’t happen sooner. Fans have (well, at least I have) been hoping for something like this: a split between two of the most passionate bands in the “wave”/hardcore/something genre – Pianos Become The Teeth and Touché Amoré. Thankfully that wait is finally over (for me) as 2013 immediately treats us to what has to be one of the best split releases in recent memory.
Each band contributed one new song to this release and the results are spectacular. In fact, both Pianos and Touché display its growth as artists since each band's 2011 release - The Lack Long After and Parting The Sea Between Brightness And Me respectively. Nothing is taken for granted as each track has its band taking risks in the name of progressing its music. Each song has a lot of melody – most notably Pianos’ half. “Hiding” begins delicately and slowly as vocalist Kyle Durfey painstakingly sings, “There’s no good in your eyes anymore,” before flourishes of clashing cymbals and chords transition into the number’s eventual chaos. Durfey’s cleans are astonishingly emotional while David Haik’s drumming is the track’s unsung hero. “Hiding” is another example of how good Pianos Become The Teeth is at conveying pain, conflict, and love in its music, seamlessly shifting between light and heavy moments. Durfey’s pained screams over guitarists Chad McDonald and Mike York’s swelling melodies are incredibly chilling.
Touché Amoré’s effort is equally impressive. The Los Angeles hardcore quintet songs rarely go over the two and a half minute mark, so I was immediately intrigued by what the four and a half minute “Gravity, Metaphorically” had in store for me. A common complaint I’ve heard from non-fans is that a typical Touché Amoré song is over before it can musically go anywhere, and that’s been a deterrent from checking out the band. But with this song being so long (by the band’s standards), it really allows TA to expand its sound and explore different areas in its songwriting. It begins with jangly riffs and Jeremy Bolm’s patented yelp before being stripped down into a dramatic bridge that sets the stage for Bolm to pour his guts out amongst the discordant finish; his desperate screams of “At least I tried!” reverberating to the very end. The build-up is immediately engaging, as guitarists Clayton Stevens and Nick Steinhardt noodle and meander throughout while Tyler Kirby’s bass weaves in and out beautifully with Elliot Babin’s inspired drumming. It’s easily the best song Touché Amoré has ever written, and has this reviewer very excited about what this band does next.
This split release will completely encompass all your emotions during its nine and a half minute run time with each lyric and note resonating well within you. It’s also pure catharsis; listeners will be able to relate and connect to this no matter what they’re going through in life at the time. It's still only the first week of the new year, but there's no doubt in my mind that this will be at least one of the three best EP's you hear in all of 2013. Pianos Become The Teeth and Touché Amoré have teamed up to unleash one of the most memorable splits of the past few years.
Both songs on this split are really impressive, and even though I prefer Touche Amore over Pianos Become The Teeth generally, it's hard to decide on a favourite out of these two tracks. Good review, good release.