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Touché Amoré

Touché Amoré: ...To the Beat of a Dead Horse [12 inch]...To the Beat of a Dead Horse [12 inch] (2009)
6131 Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: InaGreendaseBrian
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Touche Amore turned heads with their self-titled demo/7", an aggressive but forward-thinking record that made the most out of discontent and youthful angst. The band's hotly anticipated (cultishly, anyway) first LP, ...To the Beat of a Dead Horse, makes good on those promises and then some. What th.
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Touche Amore turned heads with their self-titled demo/7", an aggressive but forward-thinking record that made the most out of discontent and youthful angst. The band's hotly anticipated (cultishly, anyway) first LP, ...To the Beat of a Dead Horse, makes good on those promises and then some. What this album really is is slightly melodic, modern hardcore (think Modern Life Is War) with dynamics employed via a heavy trad-screamo influence (think Pg. 99), logically extending itself from the 7", only with way better songs.

Frontman Jeremy's hoarse, jagged yelp leads a cavalcade of thoughtful guitar work, tempo changes and musical mood swings. There might be a silly, poetic turn of phrase from him in "And Now It's Happening in Mine," where he references sure influences ("I'll go to Morrissey to answer my questions, 'cause Ian Curtis has left me hanging."), but it doesn't kill the mood at all, fortunately.

There's two incredibly deliberate stop-starts in the album's longest, "Honest Sleep"; the first is preceded by some flailing drum fills and Jeremy's desperate punctuality ("Sun down / sun up"), before you hear a mid-tempo drive as frantic as it can sound, and by the end, a cathartic sing-along that's been replicated as an apt set closer for the band's fraught live sets.

The guest vocal appearances blend in nicely, as Thursday's Geoff Rickly helps transform the carefully medium-paced "History Reshits Itself" into one of the album's more melodic standouts by its end, while Modern Life Is War's Jeffrey Eaton gets a scratchy yelp in "Always Running Never Looking Back" akin to MLIW's epic "Midnight in America" (the song). While he sounds a little different and even younger somehow, compared to Midnight in America (recorded two years ago), it's just good to hear Eaton again on anything.

"Suckerfish" features dueling octaves, one set jangled and the other a more atmospheric touch while Jeremy bears some curt admissions ("I'll call her 'Destroyer' / and I'll destroy her"). "Broken Records" attempts some more pounding pauses that work in the band's favor before Jeremy attests to the cold embrace of urban desolation ("My heart lies in Los Angeles"), while one of the record's best, "Nine" therapeutically reveals all in under a minute ("I'm biting the hairs on my arm like I do / when I don't know where I am or what I should do. / I've been blessed with these eyes that come with innocent questions, / like where I'm from, holding expectations / to give obvious answers and tell no lies. / But I swear there's nothing innocent in these eyes, / because I've seen dead friends, / and I've seen murder, / and I've done things I wish I hadn't done.").

While the production's a little thin and raw, it really only complements the desperation and anguish that largely burrows itself as the record's center thesis. However one ultimately chooses to categorize ...To the Beat of a Dead Horse, it should be mindful of the idea that this is an accomplished and powerful debut.

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Swimming with Sharks
Nine

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Touché Amoré - Parting the Sea Between Brightness and MeTouché Amoré - Touché Amoré [7 inch]Touché Amoré / La Dispute - Searching for a Pulse/The Worth of the World [7-inch]Make Do and Mend - End Measured MileBalance and Composure - SeparationTouché Amoré / Make Do and Mend - Split [7-inch]Against Me! - As The Eternal CowboyThe Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundLa Dispute - Somewhere at the Bottom of the River Between Vega and AltairJoyce Manor - Joyce Manor

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Dante3000 (November 23, 2009)

Listening to this again now. Still good, but I think it's hard for me to listen to the whole thing in one shot.
Also,
Holy god, 12/04/09, Sub Mission Art Space, San Francisco
Hour of the Wolf
Comadre
Touche Amore.

Yes...
-Dante

cherrycolarain (November 23, 2009)

Fucking awesome. Kinda sounds like a punk'ier Ruiner in my opinion. Anyways, these guys have some serious balls.

iamgodsongs (November 22, 2009)

yeah dude, sorry. i was sort of half asleep when i read your comment/ posted mine. i still think it's unfair to generalize most of the bands in the genre today, but i misinterpreted your comment a bit. While i'm sure a few bands are just rehashing the old guard, i see more records coming out (this one, pianos become the teeth's "old pride", capsule's "blue" comes to mind) that are still trying to take the genre in different directions. Even if every band was just trying to rip saetia, pg.99 or orchid off, oh well. Screamo, even for a tiny sub-niche of punk, is pretty thankless to play, for obvious reasons. I do hope to see you around town to discuss this further, but just in case my aim screen name is chaos is steve. Also, anyone into the genre should check out Age Sixteen from Baltimore, who have euro influences with a singer who sounds an awful lot like the one from bear vs shark, as well as a band out of Sweden called Suffocate For Fuck Sake.

plagues (November 22, 2009)

Definitely one of my top albums of the year, its perfect. However, I don't think you can exactly compare Pianos Became The Teeth to Touche Amore. They have two completely different sounds, but thats just my opinion.

mikexdude (November 22, 2009)

Why the hostility, brah? I didn't even say I disliked this. I love pianos become the teeth, so just shut up. I just meant it's hard for me to personally get into the stuff that isn't definitive in the genre. Sorry we have opinions.

I hope to see you in Baltimore so we can talk further.

iamgodsongs (November 22, 2009)

mikexdude, please shut up about screamo. There are really very few bands trying to "revive a sound". in fact there are a lot of bands with screamo influences doing awesome and fairly inventive things in the context of the genre. please go back to talking about mediocre hardcore records. on a less ranting note, saw these guys in baltimore with pianos become the teeth and they killed it.

icapped2pac (November 21, 2009)

I'll stick with continuing to listen to Pianos Become The Teeth over checking this out since I'm pretty sure I checked it out before and didn't care for it.

preston (November 21, 2009)

Oh. It has a Thursday-connection. I was wonder why Brian gave something a score that wasn't 3 or 3-and-a-half stars. In all seriousness, this sounds pretty good.

thepopeofchili-town (November 21, 2009)

Only been getting into screamo for the past month or so. This is one of the first records I grabbed, and it's pretty damn solid.

Fuzzy (November 21, 2009)

Definitely great. Glad to see some modern bands doing this style in a way that doesn't make me cringe.

mikexdude (November 21, 2009)

Not a fan of bands that revive the screamo sound; it should just stay in the few classic bands. Haven't really listened to this, but still super excited to.

SweatshopWorker (November 21, 2009)

The album's name is great. And so is the cover art, but I doubt I'll like the music. Will check it out anyway.

the4footpartysub (November 21, 2009)

That's a pretty cool looking album cover.

atomicgarden89 (November 21, 2009)

My band was on tour with Hour Of The Wolf, and we ended up playing a few shows with these guys in Oregon and Seattle. Great fucking band, really original... and probably the nicest So-Cal dudes I've ever met.

Dante3000 (November 21, 2009)

I've listened to this a couple of times and while I enjoy it, it seems the vocalist sounds the same on every track. No matter the tone of the song, content of the lyrics, the cadence, the inflection, it's always the exact same delivery. It's not bad but it definitely wears on me by the end of the album.
-Dante

colin (November 20, 2009)

hardcore record of the year for me. def in my top 5 of the year overall. holy fuck this album KILLS it.

sugarfull (November 20, 2009)

Don't really see the connection between this and bands like pageninetynine, judging from the mySpace tracks.

I'm not a fan.

writethatbitch (November 20, 2009)

"it's just good to hear Eaton again on anything"

amen.

into this band, for sure.

WesMantooth (November 20, 2009)

seeing them tomorrow. i love this band.

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