Pianos Become the Teeth - Old Pride [reissue] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Pianos Become the Teeth

Old Pride [reissue] (2010)


Pianos Become the Teeth's Old Pride is an accomplished eight-song LP of emotional hardcore--imagine bits of City of Caterpillar, Majority Rule and maybe some subtle At the Drive-In tucked beneath a lot of those screams. While this style has been losing my attention due to compositional choices, it's refreshing that Pianos have an admirable sense of song. If contemporaries Touché Amoré focus on vocals and sing-alongs and Topshelf labelmates We Were Skeletons embrace the real abrupt and instrumentally-driven side, I would consider Pianos a best of both worlds. But with a hell of a lot more reverb.

A "screamo" band's Achilles‘ Heel is often within the structure of their songs; when there are so many (and too many) sections, the transitions get weak and the onslaught of chops get fucking exhausting. When Pianos puts their best proverbial foot forward with the opener "Filial," you're assured that you're in for a cohesive and meaningful effort. "Pensive," with a more post-hardcore feel (they do cite Small Brown Bike as an influence), sounds as desperate as it is does pensive. It builds into a very linear yet seamless track. Its structure is in accordance with the song's varying moods, rather than its riffs.

Lyrically, the content is very open-ended and seemingly stream-of-conscious. "Pensive" breaks for a really nice sing-along with "I'm ready to let my hair down / I'm ready to move to the woods, until the floor boards get raspy / I'm ready / I'm ready," while the remainder of the album merely hints at melody, integrated within repeated, obscure one-liners ("we chase yellows, you and I / we chase yellows, you and I"). The closer "Young Fire" is a seven-minute post-rock jam with no lyrics.

At the very least, Old Pride is worth checking out simply for its musicianship and its professional grasp on dynamics. There's a lot of good "emotional" music going on right now, and Pianos Become the Teeth is no doubt amongst the best of them. Get ready.