Words About Music
Touché Amoré “Is Survived By”
I could talk at length about the history of hardcore and its interesting evolution, and I’m fairly certain I’ve done that numerous times across different reviews. From Dead Kennedys to Big Black to Fugazi to Glassjaw to Pg. 99 to Circle Takes the Square to La Dispute and beyond. Basically hardcore music has gone through political stages, emotional stages, and balls-to-the-wall loud stages. A recent trend in hardcore known as The Wave (consisting of groups such as La Dispute, Pianos Become the Teeth, Defeater, and Touché Amoré) has morphed and combined to embody these shifts in post-hardcore music, usually in a manner that is poetic, emotional, and raw. One of the best groups from this scene is Los Angeles’ Touché Amoré, who just released their third album “Is Survived By,” which was aptly released through the Deathwish Inc label. For those not in the know, Deathwish is home to some of the greatest loud rock groups in existence: Converge, Modern Life Is War, Deafheaven, Code Orange Kids, Loma Prieta, etc.
On “Is Survived By,” the group definitely bring their A-plus game in terms of songwriting and just overall performance. Each and every part of this album is just so emotional. Jeremy Bolm’s tortured vocal performances just certify this album’s worth. It’s just a perfect culmination of years and years of musical evolution. It’s almost like all the emo and screamo we’ve endured and loved from groups like Envy and Orchid and Converge was leading up to “Is Survived By.” It’s seriously that great.
The lyrics on this album are extremely confessional, honest, and heartbreaking if you give them a good listen. It’s just difficult for me to find something on this album that I don’t like. The album is only 30 minutes long, though that does make it the group’s longest. These short bursts of energy are all on the same wavelength of emotion which makes this album so cohesive and, for lack of a better word, fun to listen to. Even through the lyrical heartbreak and thematic death, “Is Survived By” is fun to listen to because everything sounds just so amazing. The instruments are in sync but not too mechanical, the vocals are soaked in anger and desperation, and the album itself really puts the melody in melodic hardcore.
I’ve recommended plenty of albums in this style since I’ve started this website, but if you listen to one hardcore album this year then please make it this one. At this point in Touché’s career they are at the top of their game, and it really feels great to see a band I like continue to make great music. While they were usually in the shadow of groups like La Dispute, Touché are now in their own league. With “Is Survived By” they’ve definitely proven themselves as a very important band in modern hardcore music, and hopefully they’re around for a lot longer so we won’t need for them to be survived by other groups.
SCORE – 9.5
FAVORITE TRACKS – Just Exist, To Write Content, Anyone / Anything, DNA, Harbor, Kerosene, Social Caterpillar, Non Fiction, Steps, Is Survived By