Touché Amoré - Searching for a Pulse/The Worth of the World [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)

Touché Amoré

Searching for a Pulse/The Worth of the World [7-inch] (2010)

No Sleep

Touché Amoré and La Dispute provided a couple of 2008's best records that I hadn't heard until early this year. TA dropped their self-titled demo 7" while LD put out the powerful Somewhere at the Bottom of the River Between Vega and Altair. LD's brand of post-hardcore combined with TA's brutally honest lyrics and crushing sound was something that made me think twice about not listening to hardcore-type bands for a year or two and sent me off to listen to what I hadn't. Upon hearing that the two were joining for a split, I was eager to hear what they had planned. Let's not mince words: This split, albeit under 10 minutes overall, is likely one of the best 10 minutes you can spend listening to music this year.

Side A, 'Searching for a Pulse,' is Touché Amoré's contribution. The two songs both clock in at under two minutes each, but so do most of the songs in their catalog. Both tracks are brilliant, lyrically and musically. "I'll Get My Just Deserve" is pretty standard TA in terms of sound, but the lyrics are more personal than usual. A new voice comes into the song and if you know the band on the other side of the album, it's instantly recognizable as La Dispute's frontman makes an appearance on both songs on this side of the album--as does TA's singer on LD's side--and they do not disappoint. In fact, they fit perfectly. The next song is not as sonically typical as the first. It sounds pretty and almost post-rock-influenced despite the vocals. The slow beginning to the second song, "I'll Deserve Just That," builds up to an overflow of emotion and anthemic guitars and another great feature from the guy from LD. "Honest Sleep" is my favorite song in their catalogue, but this might be even better. It's almost too good to just be on a 7"; in fact, both of these songs are.

Side B is La Dispute's part of the split. For a band that I've found stunning lyrically more than musically, they bring both to the table here. This isn't to discount their music, which I love through and through, but the lyrics are genius. That's what I've always loved about them. On this split, we start with "How I Feel," which is a bit of a change of pace from them. It's a concise song: short, sweet, and to the point. The second song triumphs over the first on this side, too. Maybe I'm focusing on the lyrics too much in this review for both bands, but to be honest, I find them both awesome in that department. "Why It Scares Me"'s premise is great: "Have I been taking my emotional cues from a script I wrote at 16?" the singer asks. And throughout the song he questions his motives for everything and whether or not emotion and memories are all worth it. "And if my heart just stops, keep me alive for a minute--I want to know if a curtain drops." What a perfect way to go out on this split.

Basically, go out, support some amazing bands and an awesome label, pick up this split, and proceed to have a blast listening to this for only 10 minutes... Then hit repeat.