Since their 2009 debut ‘Old Pride’, Maryland quintet Pianos Become The Teeth have been a staple in the new era post-hardcore movement alongside bands such as La Dispute and Touché Amoré. What sets Pianos Become The Teeth apart from these bands, however, is their desire to evolve and move away from what made them so prominent in the first place.
Indeed, their Epitaph Records debut in 2014’s ‘Keep You’ prompted a mixed response from fans, seeing the band shift away from their post-hardcore roots and towards a more post-rock driven sound that lacked aggression and stripped away the tortured screams of vocalist, Kyle Durfey.
With follow-up ‘Wait For Love’, the band have persisted with the same approach from their last record but refined it, added a few more elements, and nurtured it into a heart-wrenching offering which stands on its own legs and ahead of their output to date.
‘Fake Lighting’ opens the album with a flowing heavy hitting drum beat and jangly guitars that guide Durfey‘s confident and downright brilliant vocal delivery. It sets the bar high for the record, and it doesn’t disappoint. ‘Charisma’ follows on and injects a little more energy into proceedings, and is reminiscent of the more upbeat side of Turnover.
While a typical Pianos Become The Teeth full-length was synonymous with aggression, anger, and screaming, here it’s replaced with shimmering fretwork, delicate melodic intricacies, and musical space to create a calm and relaxing atmosphere. Perfect examples of this are the simplistic ‘Dry Spells’ and the melodically beautiful ‘Manila’.
The musicianship throughout ‘Wait For Love’ is phenomenal and showcases how much the band have worked to perfect their less abrasive direction. They’ve always shone lyrically, and the light still beams strong here, especially on curtain closer ‘Blue’, an ode to Durfey‘s father and a love letter to his own son. The slow and dreary track is heart-wrenching, and a perfect climax to a personally reflective record.
‘Wait For Love’ is a powerful and carefully crafted record. It enriches and helps define the purpose of ‘Keep You’; a transitional release of a band cocooned in a new form, not quite finding themselves, and completes the metamorphosis. It’s a phenomenal offering, and without question Pianos Become The Teeth at their career best.