Passion is something that has been lacking in the music industry as of late. More and more bands appear to be releasing albums just for the sake of it, with no consideration for lyrical content or for the love of playing music. Well, this something that definitely does not apply to LA’s Touché Amoré, whose second full-length album is full of hardcore grit, punk energy and emotional passion.
The band specialise in short, sharp bursts of gut rendering hardcore, and they are perhaps at their best when they fire out high tempo numbers such as ‘Wants/Needs’ and ‘Crutch’, which equal out the balance between slower songs like ‘Condolences’. There is a fantastic line in the fantastic ‘Art Official’ that says “I’m not the golden boy so don’t shine me on”, which pretty much sums up the band. They’ve not set out to achieve stardom, they’ve set out to make music that they enjoy, unlike many of their LA counterparts. Throughout the 21 minutes that this record roars into life, vocalist Jeremy Bolm tears through his ear splitting vocal style with a tenacity that is almost unprecedented and unrivalled by any vocalist in the scene.
One thing that is extremely impressive about this album is the way that it manages to shift almost seamlessly between fast, intense passages to slower, ambient parts in such a short space of time. Credit where credit is due, guitarists Clayton Stevens and Nick Steindhart work tirelessly to keep the energy up, but also do fantastically well to show off some of their own technical skills. The line that Bolm screams in fantastic opener ‘~’, “I’m the most defeaning noise you’ve heard / I’ll be the ringing in your ears” is perhaps a better description of the band’s sound than this reviewer could ever write.
Although it goes against the band’s forté, one can’t help but sit and wonder “what if these songs were longer?”. Whilst the band’s style is most definitely effective, it would definitely be interesting to see what the band could come up with, given longer to play, with because with an album coming in at less than 21 minutes, it is hard to see much appeal to such a short full-length, or perhaps that is the appeal within itself?
However, to judge the album based upon that one fact would be overly critical because the fact of the matter is, no matter how long these songs are; they are bloody good songs and should be appreciated as such. A top effort from these boys.
Written by Oliver Thompson
Founder & Editor for DEAD PRESS! | Atheist and antitheist. | Judge of the quick & the dead since 1989.