Friday, 8 February 2013

Touché Amoré


Touché Amoré are a five-piece post-hardcore band from Los Angeles, California that formed in 2008. They're easily one of the most prominent and well-known bands in the past while, so I don't know what else to say that hasn't already been. They take influences from bands such as American Nightmare, Modern Life Is War, Envy, La Quiete, and Converge. They essentially blend hardcore and screamo together and make it more accessible (for lack of a better word). They're also a part of the whole "Wave" thing, but make of that what you will.

1. Negotiating The Charade
2. Huckleberry
3. WeHateFredPhelps.com
4. Broken Records
5. Hipsterectomy
6. Changing Lanes
7. Scene Is To Be Seen
8. Honest Sleep

Starting out, they were quite dark, dense, and dissonant. On the first effort, their demo/self-titled, this is immediately evident. This was put out in 2008 on No Sleep Records (one of its earliest releases). They keep it short, simple, and monstrous in sound. They pump out 8 blistering, intense, and passionate songs in just under 15 minutes, with singer Jeremy Bolm scorching his throat against what angers him (corporations, the WBC, hipsters, scenesters, etc.).

1. ...And Now It's Happening In Mine
2. Honest Sleep
3. Cadence
4. Throwing Copper
5. Swimming With Sharks
6. History Reshits Itself (feat. Geoff Rickly)
7. Suckerfish
8. Broken Records
9. Nine
10. Always Running, Never Looking Back (feat. Jeff Eaton)
11. Adieux

The following year they put out their first full-length, ...To The Beat Of A Dead Horse, as a joint release between Collect Records (Geoff Rickly's label, who the band had a previous friendship with) and 6131 Records. This continued the sound found on their debut album (two songs were even re-recorded for it), but with a more refined sound and some line-up changes (their drummer, in particular. I think their original bassist switched to guitar or something as well). Though still fierce, they certainly tightened up as a unit. The mingling of guitars becomes more evident (and even more prominent later), the drumming is intense, and the bass is pummelling. Lyrically, Jeremy has also expanded from "Fuck this, fuck that" (though that still is awesome) to discussing more personal issues in a more poetic way of expressing them, I suppose you could say. Their are also two guest vocal spots, one from Thursday's Geoff Rickly and the other from Modern Life Is War's Jeff Eaton. The overall tone and atmosphere, culminated by the vocals and lyrics, the riffs and playing of the band, the production, and the artwork, is really dark, ominous and looming, which is something I really love about it. This consistency creates an experience that really distinguishes this album as its own. This, in my opinion, is their best release to date.

1. ...And Now It's Happening In Mine
2. Cadence
3. Broken Records
4. Swimming With Sharks
5. History Reshits Itself
6. Nine
7. Adieux
8. Honest Sleep

This is a live radio set they did for WERS in 2010 that they put out in physical format themselves on a label called Condolences. It later became digitally available as a part of the Deathwish Live Series. Every song is from ...TTBOADH. It sounds pretty raw and stripped down. It's alright.

1. Touché Amoré - Smoke Signals
2. Touché Amoré - Hideaways
3. Make Do And Mend - Hand Me Downs
4. Make Do And Mend - Cobwebs
This is a split with another awesome band who you're probably also familiar with, Make Do And Mend. TA continue to kill it with two great songs contributed, and everything is just spot on here. This was a joint release between 6131 and Panic, both bands respective labels at the time.

1. Touché Amoré - I'll Get My Just Deserve (feat. Jordan Dreyer)
2. Touché Amoré - I'll Deserve Just That (feat. Jordan Dreyer)
3. La Dispute - How I Feel (feat. Jeremy Bolm)
4. La Dispute - Why It Scares Me (feat. Jeremy Bolm)

This is their split with La Dispute, which is easily a high point for both bands. It was put out by No Sleep Records. TA are a little cleaner and a little more melodic here, which is a nice change of pace, though that raw, cathartic sensibility is still very present. Jordan from LD contributes vocals to both of TA's songs and vice-versa, which really makes the album sound very unified. Besides ...TTBOADH, this is my personal favourite release of theirs.

1. ~
2. Pathfinder
3. The Great Repitition
4. Art Official
5. Uppers / Downers
6. Crutch
7. Method Act
8. Face Ghost
9. Sesame
10. Wants / Needs
11. Condolences
12. Home Away From Here
13. Amends
Their second full-length, titled Parting The Sea Between Brightness And Me, came out on Deathwish in 2011. This marked a significant change in the band's sound. The production was very slick and clean, and the mood of the songs, though still emotional bursts energy, were not quite as dark or dense as they once were. They retain their brevity and fast pace, but compliment it with a much bigger sound tinted with some emo and post-rock influences. This also marked a split among TA's fan base. Quite a few older fans were turned off by this new direction, while quite a few new fans were turned on to them because of this. Personally, I do prefer their older stuff, but do love the newer stuff as well. But that's just an opinion, of course.

1. ~
2. Home Away From Here
3. I'll Deserve Just That (feat. Jordan Dreyer)
4. Amends
This is a live in-studio thing they did for BBC Radio 1 (as you can tell). Three songs are from PTSBBAM and one from their split with La Dispute, with Jordan providing vocals as well. The songs just sound somewhat more live than their album counterparts. It's cool I suppose, but not essential.

1. Touché Amoré - Whale Belly
2. Touché Amoré - Unsatisfied (The Replacements cover)
3. The Casket Lottery - White Lies
4. The Casket Lottery - Myth (Beach House cover)

This split is with The Casket Lottery, another great band, but who's origins are from the generation before them. I personally find it pretty awesome that a lot of older bands are now collaborating/touring/etc. with their modern incarnations and influences. TA's original song, "Whale Belly", sounds like a Parting The Sea... song, with the punk energy they had before that. Take from that what you will. They also cover The Replacements' "Unsatisfied", which is exactly who I feel about their cover. I kid, I kid. Sort of. This came out on No Sleep as well.

1. Pianos Become The Teeth - Hiding
2. Touché Amoré - Gravity, Metaphorically

Here's another split with their contemporaries and companions. This time it's with Pianos Become The Teeth, who are amazing. Topshelf and Deathwish put this out. TA breaks all the rules with their one track, "Gravity, Metaphorically" and let's it clock in at 4:08. The first half is typical Parting The Sea... stuff (I know I keep using that description. I don't mean to dismiss it, there's just no other way I can think of to describe it). The second half cuts the speed in half and ends in this glorious crescendo. They played this song quite a bit live before recording it, and the early live versions of it seemed amazing. I, along with many others it seems, had high expectations for this because of that. In all honesty, I was a little let down, though I do still thoroughly enjoy it. I'm preaching my opinion here, sorry.

1. Title Fight - Face Ghost (Touché Amoré cover)
2. Touché Amoré - Crescent-Shaped Depression (Title Fight cover)

This is a split 7" they did with Title Fight for Record Store Day 2013. I think more pressings will be made later, though. Both bands do covers of each other's songs, and both do the songs justice, but also add unique elements of their own to change them up a little. It's a decent split overall, I guess.

1. Just Exist
2. To Write Content
3. Praise / Love
4. Anyone / Anything
5. DNA
6. Harbor
7. Kerosene
8. Blue Angel
9. Social Caterpillar
10. Non Fiction
11. Steps
12. Is Survived By

1. Just Exist
2. Gravity, Metaphorically
3. Harbor
4. Nonfiction

1. Touché Amoré & Self Defense Family - Circa 95
2. Touché Amoré & Self Defense Family - Low Beams

9. Lounge Act (Nirvana cover)

Note: Full comp here

1. Flowers And You
2. New Halloween
3. Rapture
4. Displacement
5. Benediction
6. Eight Seconds
7. Palm Dreams
8. Softer Spoken
9. Posing Holy
10. Water Damage
11. Skyscraper
12. Gather (Bonus Track)

10 comments:

  1. Many many thanks !

    ReplyDelete
  2. someone with the new 7" condolences/available?
    thanks in advance

    ReplyDelete
  3. can someone add the new condolences/available single as well as the Live At W.E.R.S. album

    ReplyDelete
  4. can someone add the new condolences/available single as well as the Live At W.E.R.S. album

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for this, I've always come back to this band every two years and they're phenomenal in a live setting, time to check our Parting the Sea since I never felt like giving it a chance

    ReplyDelete
  6. please upload stage four soon! and the condolences/available single would be so greatly appreciated. this site is amazing

    ReplyDelete
  7. can you please put up their cover of pearl jam's corduroy? thank you!! :-)

    ReplyDelete