Touche Amore w/Pianos Become Teeth and Palm Reader
Ross Timms – Platform
Ever since ‘emo’ did its level best to destroy all that was respectable about emotionally-charged music, everyone kind of hoped it never reared its ugly head again. While Hawthorne Heights may still be putting out albums like the troopers they are, luckily the rest of the music community has been blessed with a new shade of emo – a rough-around-the-edges breed of emotional-hardcore that puts a stop to us ever reaching for that old Dashboard Confessional record that we all used to get off on while straightening our fringes and polishing our studded belts.
If it wasn’t concrete already, Touche Amore’s second full-length effort, Parting the Sea Between Brightness and Me, reiterated just why they have been one of the most talked about bands in the hardcore scene of late. They’ve been filling column inches pretty much none stop since their sophomore came out last June, but it’s not until you get them into a live setting that the credentials, which they boast on record, come through most clearly.
Joining the LA quintet in Rock City’s barrier-free basement this evening were their long-time friends Pianos Become The Teeth, but before either of them took to the stage, Woking boys Palm Reader were on hand to deliver an impressive set to an already bustling room. They give the first inklings that this will not be your usual sleepy Sunday show, oozing confidence while playing their riff-laden hardcore.
The Pianos Become the Teeth singer may look like Andrew WK and Trash Talk’s Lee Spielman’s love child, but Kyle Durfey’s strained screamo vocals epitomise the emotion that is spilling out of heavy music at the moment. Their set seems short as their songs touch upon the five-minute mark, but it’s flawless as they interchange between material from recent album The Lack Long After and 2009’s Old Pride. The intricacy of ‘Filial’ shines through most prominently of all, and after just six songs they depart with the slightly sombre ‘I’ll Get By’.
Jeremy Bolm is everything all other vocalists should compare themselves to. Softly spoken and gracious while addressing the Rock City punters, an unsuspecting gentlemen, who may not have partaken in Touché Amoré before now, might well be taken aback when they witness the passion and fury that he evokes. As they jump into ‘Method Act’, heads and hands flood towards Bolm and rarely let-up throughout their set, as the whole crowd seems dead set on contributing to the shout-along lyrics.
In between songs you can genuinely see that they’re all humbled by the reaction from the audience, but their gratitude never lets the intensity fade. ‘Home Away From Here’ and ‘Uppers/Downers’ are delivered before a new song is unveiled to a rapturous response. As always, ‘Honest Sleep’s anthemic finale sees vocal participation from the floor reach new levels, before ‘Cadence’ caps off the evening in similar fashion. Theirs and the rest of the bands tonight showed off how hardcore has never been more in tune with its emotions and more than anything, highlighted Jeremy Bolm’s and the whole of Touché Amoré’s knack of make people feel something from music again.