Thursday, October 13, 2016

Touche Amore : "Stage Four"

There is less of a late 90's emo feel to this and more of a rock n roll jammy feeling . Not that you can not tell this descended from Taking Back Sunday. "New Halloween" is not where near as dark as a song about Halloween should be. The first song that really gets my attention is "Rapture". The chanted vocals actually lead the way to sung vocals. "Displacement" seems to have some questions regarding religion that I like. The singer admits he is not sure what he believes and I can respect someone who gives me a firm "I Don't Know" in that regard. Sung vocals return on "Benediction" these are rather dead pan. I almost prefer the less sung screaming to these. "Eight Seconds" is actually a minute and a half which for punk rock is about right. The production on this album is very warm and organic. The clean guitar tones are all really good. The drums can sound a little weird in places.

This album has a lot of songs about some woman dying. This must be the singer's mother or grand mother. "Palm Dreams" seems a little less auto-biographical. The sung vocals compliment it well. The the up beat "Softer Spoken" chimes in with some interesting guitar tones. There is a more straight forward rambling punk tone to "Posing Holy".  This album is like a more explosive and screamed version of the Replacements. The guitar jangles more on this song than the ones before, but there is that quality to many of them. The drums to "Water Damage" have a very Fugazi feel to them. The sung vocals at the beginning of the song might not have been the most exciting, but the screamed vocals begin to sound like every other narrative on the album.

The Lou Reed like lower vocals return for "Skyscraper" which is the album's strongest song sonically. They get to do their screamo thing, but add a wide range of colors to their sound. This is a side of the band I want to hear more from, it almost sounds like another band altogether. There is a lush texture to guitars on "Gather". The guitars do the bulk of the heavy lifting on most of these songs since the vocals are often monotone even in the screamed sections. I'll give this album an 8 it shows the band has really matured by adding a broader scope of sounds to their arsenal.

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