From the jump, I just have to say, get ready for one of the best albums 2020. That may be surprising to some, but after experiencing this record, I think it will change your mind. Let’s just dive right into it. Touché Amoré hasn’t put out an album since 2016, so many people were looking forward to them releasing some new tunes, and it is evident that the band is riding that same style that got them where they are today. But what is that style? Looking at the album as a whole, we hear that the band is often just driving this heavy articulation on every instrumental moment that they possibly can. That might sound like a lot to the ear, especially with the sound and timbre of the voice that is common for Touché Amoré ; however, with this record, the overall style just makes sense. As I said at the beginning, this album may surprise some about being a top album because it is definitely a growing album; meaning, that as we work and listen through it- at first it seems like we are listening to way too much music and we don’t know how to handle it. But really, our brain doesn’t know how to process it. As we continue to listen, and continue to give it the chance that it deserves: it might start to resonate with us because we see the artistry in it. The album itself feels very repetitive in terms of approach to style, but that is the approach that the band often makes as they write music, so it’s something that shouldn’t necessarily deter people from listening to what they are, but that might hesitate new listeners to join. Overall, I am giving this record a 4.5 out of 5 stars. I’m giving this work such a score because this is the perfect mixture of a post-grunge or punk or pop punk album mixed with a hardcore or even some might say rock gloss. Again, this may seem like a lot, but if you listen to the album from front to back you really hear the sound of the band with their approach to music and their overall vision. If you spend enough time with the album- it just sticks in your head and you want to keep listening to it. Also, it’s a really good album if you just want to jam out or get out some, you know, aggression. I think it’s a good one for that. In general, this might not be an album for everybody, but everyone should give it a chance.
“Feign”, “Reminders”, and “Lament”
These tracks stick out to be the best because they were the ones that rock that form that Touché Amoré is just driving throughout the entire album. Most songs on the record could be used as the top tracks because so many are so phenomenal. Honestly, I think most of the tracks are phenomenal, but the ones in this specific lineup take the sound that is just driving the entire time and it is posting it at about a hundred and twenty thousand percent. So, if I were you I would listen to the entire album from top to bottom, but if you were just looking for a taste, I would definitely start here.
When looking at the album artwork, I would say, from first glance, the artwork is interesting, but it isn’t the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen. The artwork itself, has the name of the album in a sort of slanted or popping out 3-D effect, and the color scheme wavers around beige, tan, black with maybe a touch of gray. This by itself is pretty bland. However, it could be interesting because it’s so different from everything else that we’re seeing in the music industry right now. So, we’ll have to take a look towards the music to see how the two work together and see how successful it truly is. When listening to the music, it was heard that that aggressive sound, or edgier approach to music is found throughout. However, there are some softer moments that are included – they just aren’t the main event. This connects to the overall artwork by the hard and soft contrast that is located in the image. As I said, the brunt of this album works with that heavy approach to music with the gloss or turn towards the softer, more mellow approach. This contrast is interesting when looking at the cover art, for one doesn’t immediately think about perspective in terms of how it is seen in modern-day art, but as you turn to look at that artwork differently, we see the perspective is happening as some of the letters are falling or popping out with that 3-D effect. Thus, as we look towards the music that we were hearing throughout the entire make, it is no surprise that this is the artwork that the band chose to use. This is because the band has a beige starting point, which gives them a lot to work with while also being pretty neutral, and that connects to the fact that their music isn’t changing from the traditional. Then, since they are providing these highs and lows, or brighter and darker moments that connect perfectly to the idea they put on the table with their artwork, they are doubling down on the idea of contrast which connects to the artwork all-the-more.. In general, I would say the two are strong on their own, but when we put them together it makes for a wonderful musical masterpiece.
*”Lament” was released on October 9th, 2020 through Epitaph Records.