Album Review: Touché Amoré – ‘Lament’
Posted: by The Editor
Touché Amoré are back with another heart-wrenching record, Lament, which was just released on Epitaph records. Touché Amoré have been consistently impressive in their style of post-hardcore. They have carved out a signature blend of great instrumentals with emotionally raw lyrics, and have spearheaded the genre of post-hardcore as it has evolved. After the release of 2016’s Stage Four there were high hopes that Touché Amoré would deliver the same force and intensity on this new record. Lament carries a lot of the same themes lyrically with more of a sharpened tone in the instrumentals that make this record exciting to listen to.
The opening track “Come Heroine” delivers high energy right off the bat. The dynamic instrumentals vary between the melodic yet brash guitars and hard-hitting drums, setting this track off to an excellent start. Once Jeremy Bloom’s rusty and harrowing screamo vocals enter the mix it becomes evident that he still is mulling over some emotions through his lyrics. As Stage Four allowed Jeremy to mourn the loss of his Mother who died of cancer, Lament does exactly as the title suggests for Jeremy. “From peaks of blue/Come heroine/With several suns you light the way/When each day begins” clearly suggests the presence of his mother in the skies and in his everyday life. Instrumentally the track ebbs and flows into fast and slow rhythms that almost emote the waves that grief can be portrayed. The guitar work is complementary to the crisp drums and serves as a dense, but yet not muddy, counterpart to Jeremy’s vocals.
“Reminders” and “Limelight” which were previously released as singles still hold up well in the context of the record. “Reminders” is another emotive track with a catchy melody and yet again crisp production in the instrumentals. Group vocals repeat the chorus “I need reminders of the love I have/I need reminders good or bad” that especially hit hard in today’s context where many of us are isolated away from our friends and loved ones. A track I will personally return to when I too need a reminder. “Limelight” had a slower tempo which served the lyrics very well. This track particularly highlights Touché Amoré’s excellent bass, played by Tyler Kirby. The bass slides up and down the neck to reveal deep and rich bass tones that are underscored by a light and airy guitar. As the track builds it explodes into its chorus “I’m tired and I’m sore/I’m not so young anymore/Worn down, but I imagine/This uniform stays in fashion.”
The theme of getting older and the adulthood responsibilities that come with age is something that has been a topic of many punk and hardcore bands for years. I recently re-listened to Green Day’s Dookie whose opening track “Burnout” reflects on this theme. However, unlike Green Day, Touché Amoré presents this theme with sophistication and reflection rather than angst. They come from a place of frustration and exhaustion to have to continuously rinse and repeat through these expectations that have been passed down through generations and generations. Touché Amoré offer a refreshing take on a long-running topic of this genre, which is something they have done throughout their discography. They reflect what exists and create their own unique take on it, which has resulted in a deeply emotive and resilient sound that successfully communicates themes that for some are difficult to put in words.
Another track that stands out is “A Broadcast” which opens with a twangy and windy single string of the guitar. More and more of these strings get introduced that create this ebb and flow rhythm to the track before the drums and vocals are added. Jeremy’s vocals especially ache in this track which is highlighted by the slower tempo and lack of heavy instrumentals in the first part of the track. A track like this showcases Touché Amoré’s versatility and ability to have a provoking song that deviates from the norm of the genre yet holds its own.
Lament continues to prove that Touché Amoré is a force to be reckoned with. Their songwriting abilities and haunting lyrics that touch on intense subjects and themes are deepened on this record. They certainly have become masters of their craft and required listening in the post-hardcore genre.
Disappointing / Average/ Good / Great / Phenomenal
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