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Music Review

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Artist: Touché Amoré
Label: Epitaph
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 09 October 2020

Epitaph Music releases Lament, the fifth studio album by Post-Hardcore quintet Touché Amoré. The band was formed in Burbank, California, USA between 2007 and 2008, and incorporates Jeremy Bolm on vocals, Nick Steinhardt on guitar, Clayton Stevens also on guitar, Tyler Kirby on bass, and Elliot Babin on drums. Previous releases consist of …To the Beat of a Dead Horse (2009), Parting the Sea Between Brightness and Me (2011), Art-Punk piece Survived By (2013), and the critically acclaimed Stage Four (2016) – as well as EPs and singles. They also released the 10-year anniversary live album 10 Years / 1000 Shows at The Regent Theatre (2018). Lament is available on Vinyl, CD, and for Download...

This band has quite a reputation already. I believe the Emo-Punk pigeon hole fits well to the genre they are already known by, which is Post-Hardcore. The vocals are screamed but extremely clear. In 'Come Heroine' there is a nice mixture of styles, with allegro, moderate and slow paces in turn. You can definitely discern the Punk in this, not only by the music but more essentially from the open ‘this is how it is’ attitude. 'Lament' has nice melodies, with two guitars each doing their own thing and complementing not only each other but the whole. One has a high reverb sound, the other more rasping. The break in the middle of the song has the vocals placed very nicely in the background, like a distant echo. 'Feign' is Pop-Rock with very solid drums. It’s a similar style to track one, wherein the verses are moderate and the choruses at double-quick time. 'Reminders' has very uplifting music, considering the dark subject matter. However, the band also knows exactly how to make the low-key, quieter moments intriguing linking pieces. 'Limelight' has a nice building structure; a strong central melody and some spoken words to accompany the rougher edges works extremely well. Other sounds inspire exotic open spaces – at least in my scary mind.

'Exit Row' has a curious opening drum pattern. The song has a clever stop/start structure which must be difficult to play live and without cues. 'Savoring' incorporates quite a Summery sound and is, prospectively, a great driving song. There is undeniably a lot going on in these songs, and this one has a more moderate introspective outro. 'A Broadcast' is a ballad of sorts. I’m not a fan of this format, as it is very difficult to master. This one is helped, however, by the strained vocals and the fuller chorus. Like all of these tracks, it avoids outstaying its welcome. 'I’ll Be Your Host' has the full and wide sound making it feel strangely comfortable. I have to say that this is artistry at work; conveying mental pain and anguish, whilst striving to reach the light. It’s straight in at full-pelt for 'Deflector' – a great Pop-Punk song with enjoyable melodies and a recognisable chorus. There are several sections to this. It’s not surprising it was chosen to be the first single (released in late 2019). Produced by Ross Robinson (Slipknot, Korn, At the Drive-In – starkly different music in my view), it proves to be a stand-out track.

We finish in noble fashion with 'A Forecast'. A piano solo piece and clean vocals make this a true ballad… until it isn’t anymore, and we’re back to more enjoyable angst-ridden territory. Nice cold drum outro, too. I have never come across this band until now (you can’t follow them all). It’s always very welcome to be pleasantly surprised. This is very cool stuff, with a rich sound and plenty of melodic energy. The vocals make it feel edgy and breathless. Seek this one out, you won’t be sorry.


Ty Power

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