There isn’t much better publicity for a band than having Geoff Rickly dedicate a song to said band during a show. Especially when said band isn’t even on the same tour. Though seemingly random, Rickly has a good reason to randomly promote Touché Amore; it’s a pretty awesome band.
The band’s second full-length, “Parting The Sea Between Brightness and Me” is 20-plus minutes of live-recorded hardcore that puts the “punk” back in hardcore punk.
The entire album was recorded, mixed and mastered in five days, the first two of which were dedicated to recording the band playing the songs live. While most (and by most I mean almost all bands that aren’t recording in their parents basements) track each instrument separately while the musician listen to a digital metronome, the guys of Touché Amore recorded the band playing together, so what is on the album is, for the most part, exactly what the band would ideally sound like during a live show. And while the idea isn’t exactly unique, it did create a cohesive, and more stripped down sound that features the actual band instead of a computer’s manipulation of the band’s sound. In today’s industry accolades are certainly necessary for a band that moves away from digital manipulation
In the grand scheme of things there isn’t anything exceptionally groundbreaking about the album. But in the context of hardcore in the past three or four years, this album represents an excellent step back towards the roots of the genre and shows dedication to musical integrity. When a band is willing to emulate the work of hardcore’s forefathers, without ripping them off, it is worth notice.
The standout element in this album is without question the vocal work from Jeremy Bolm. He avoids the tired guttural growling that has become so popular in hardcore and opts for basic, yet emotional yelling. Not only does it make the lyrics more discernible than those of most hardcore vocalists, but it pays homage to the bands before him, specifically Marc Paffi of Bear vs Shark. The vocal work is intense and exhausting conjuring images of Bolm falling over himself on stage as he puts every bit of energy in his body into the song.
The 13-track album clocks in at just under 21 minutes. Each song flies by and save for a minute and 48 second piano based track called “Condolences,” it is an up tempo onslaught that leaves the listener on the edge of exhaustion.
The L.A. based band first found a home on No Sleep Records and has now moved on to the multifaceted Deathwish Inc where they fit in well with label mates Converge, 108 and United Nations
“Parting The Sea Between Brightness and Me” is a good hardcore album that gives hints as a great live band. The album is certainly worth the few bucks to make sure these guys stay on the road and continue to perform high quality hardcore.
* I also just found out that there will soon be a vinyl pressing of this album. Get it.