- A Quote from Hardcore Punk Newcomer (and fellow Team Member) Chris Ayres: “I personally was always a little sketchy on screams, but this band isn’t screaming for sake of screaming…. They scream because they have so much passion for the beautiful lyrics they’ve created…”Punk music: a very polarizing term, a very diverse term, andtherefore a very vague term. Punk music, a usually angrier offshoot of rock ‘n‘ roll, embraces difference, praises emotion, and appreciates heaviness.
- Punk can be dirty, raw and relentless; however, it can be beautiful, artful and touching, adjectives that describe a musical movement prevalent in years after it’s early phase. That’s right kids…just because it’s loud does not disregard its poignancy. So nowwesegway into the review.Touché Amoré are a punk band that incorporate many types of punk (hardcore,screamo,emo) into their music. They meld elements of bands like Page ninety-nine, Sunny Day Real Estate and other 90’s greats into their sound. The result is summed up in three words: Beautifully Unadulterated Catharsis. This band aims to craft music that does not just act as therapy, but is therapy. Harsh, yet audible and intelligent, barks from vocalist JeremyBolm are layered on top of lush and intricate guitar and bass lines, backed up by percussive powerhouse Elliot Babin. This is a band that takes pride in their performing ability by sporting great musical prowess. They’ve toyed with this sound for two albums and many splits now; it’s aggressive compared to other types of music, but it’s still accessible.
- On Is Survived By, these guys throw us a curveball. Actually, every song on here is a big, beautiful curveball. No musical idea can be predicted before actually hearing it in real time in the song, and no two songs sound similar. The opener “Just Exist” starts out with guitar chords and passionate screaming about what happens after we die, what does our legacy entail (the concept of this album). However, just when the listener eases into the soaring chords and barks, the band drastically changes the mood, incorporating lightning-fast drums and quickly strummed guitars. It’s a seamless transition, but no one will see it coming. The time signatures change constantly, but never alienate the listener, and at about one minute into this two minute experience, the listener is enthralled. By the time the song ends, the listener is probably clapping in their chair, reminded of the fact that there are still eleven songs left.
- But what the listener doesn’t realize is that none of the other songs sound like “Just Exist,” but with every second of every track, the entire experience gets better and better. The next song, “To Write Content,” features about a million genius lyrical one liners, like a line about how the narrator wants to “relapse and fall back” into who he thinks is there; bold diction like this really tugs at the heartstrings, so much that it is an emotional workout for the listener. It’s amazing how these guys pack such a punch onto what is mostly a bunch of two to three minute songs.
- There is not a single song on here that is not completely relatable. Since I implore readers to listen to the album themselves, I’ll just delve into a couple more tracks. “Praise/Love” features some more quote-ables, like “a glutton for love…a glutton for praise,” insults that the singer howls…at HIMSELF. He is distraught by his own idiosyncrasies and faults, something that any human being deals with. “Social Caterpillar” has some of the best lyrics (which will not be spoiled), and it expounds upon the search for social acceptance and self-realization. I can’t even do this album justice; it’s impossible to describe accurately how beautiful it is.
- This album lies with you, this album resides with you, this album cries with you, and maybe even makes you die a little inside upon its conclusion. Skeptics of music with screaming need not fear; it’s a scream that’s watered down with a spoken-word style of yelping, and it’s nothing too esoteric. If this album deals with wanting to be remembered, wanting to be accepted, or wanting to be praised, it should be rest assured that it accomplishes all of those things and more. Simply put, this is a modern classic. I want to thank Touché Amore for making this…this is why I listen to music. This is why I live.
Pretty Neat Music
FAV TRACKS: THE ENTIRE ALBUM (I’m not just saying this for shock value. I do believe that this album is amazing)
LEAST FAV TRACKS: If your only excuse for not at least giving this album a chance is “I don’t like screaming…” please…I beg you to try it out.