Touché Amoré and Pianos Become The Teeth are two of the most talked about bands in the hardcore scene, and for a damn good reason. Both are known for their emotionally driven lyrics, powerful delivery and elegant musical style, but most importantly, they stand out from a crowd full of bands trying to recreate what has already been done. Why? Because they have an outstanding passion for what they do. Both are exemplary examples of the fusion of musical emotion–of a man putting his heart and soul on a sheet of paper and watching it float off into the world. But if we were to put all of our attention to this split, we have two groundbreaking bands creating two magnificent pieces of music, leaving us with what I believe to be the best piece of wax presented since 2008.
Touché Amoré make the first move with “Gravity, Metaphorically”, and waste no time getting to the point. Opening with drums and bass, we’re quickly slammed with Jeremy’s anguish pushed over the entering guitars. They slow down the pace in a way only they can, showcasing an intricate attention to the guitar harmonies and the lyrics that made Parting The Sea Between Brightness And Me so memorable. The song could easily end here and be typical of the sound we have all come to love, but instead we enter the eye of the storm. Clean guitars build themselves up over a perfect example of the emotion Jeremy can convey with his lyrics: “It was the first time in a long time that I felt alive/At least I tried/Then my highest hopes were realized, then it flatlined/At least I tried/And I woke up scared, but it’s alright ‘cause nothing changed/At least I tried”. And as the song closes, we feel a sense of melancholy that no other band can match.
So how do you follow that? You can either do something different so you can’t be compared or you beat them. Pianos Become The Teeth do both in their closer “Hiding”. A seemingly impossible task, Kyle has simply outdone Jeremy with both lyrics and delivery, in a song that will stand above everything PBTT have done so far. Following on perfectly from the A side, “Hiding” opens with a gently pieced and atmospheric melody, and is unexpectedly accompanied by Kyle singing, a technique generally left to depressing interludes within a song. As the soft drumming builds us up to full force, we can feel every word coming out of his mouth in our chests, and we recognise every feeling he describes with lyrics such as “But you can’t stay angry forever, or so I’m told. But the house gets so quiet sitting here wishing for just an hour or two, alone with you”. Pianos Become The Teeth have outdone themselves, and, perhaps more importantly, showed the importance of the B side.