Touche Amore - Is Survived By (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Touche Amore

Is Survived By (2013)

Deathwish Inc.

There's no subtle way to put it: Touche Amore definitely hit it out the park. Jeremy Bolm and his posse have taken the time and care since 2011 to ensure that Is Survived By plays off as not only their most mature and heartfelt record to date. It's the record that could well define Touche Amore's legacy.

Bolm's candor, vulnerability and honesty is what makes Is Survived By explicitly profound. It's his diary laid bare for the listener. Poetry in motion. The power, honesty and emotional traction he creates with his gruff, hoarse and throaty delivery resonates like a powder keg lit afire. "Just Exist" rips on legacies and mortality and kicks the snowball of momentum that is Is Survived By off to near perfection. Touche ensure that various musical walks of life are brought out in so much of the album – which fans of Thursday and La Dispute will most probably recognize.

The post-hardcore vibe of old-school Touche is met with a more melodic touch as seen on "Non-Fiction," in which Bolm recites in spoken word over an Envy-like tapestry before barreling into the beautiful noise that Clayton Stevens and Nick Steinhardt flex out of their guitars. They expound smartly, laying foundations for Bolm to run on, like on "Steps" which actually ramps up from the riffs on "Non-Fiction."

An album of love, life, relationships and one's purpose in the world is what best describes Is Survived By. The variety of punk, indie, hardcore and so many other musical influences are dosed in, as Touche fans would expect, but the closing title track sums it up pretty well.

Elliot Babin's pace on the drum kit is one of the best displays by a drummer in recent memory, guiding the passion and creativity of the band with a strong backbone. "Is Survived By" switches from a neat marching drum beat, to noisy fits of hardcore, back to a melodic lull before crashing once more into the boisterous nature that is Touche Amore.

When you leave this world, what will you be remembered for? That's Bolm's theme here. This record, no doubt, will be what fans remember this band for. It's fucking splendid.