Review Summary: If you liked "...To The Beat of A Dead Horse", check this out because it is basically more of the same, and the same is awesome.2 of 2 thought this review was well written
Touche Amore’s first demo is a strong one. It combines elements of hardcore and emo music in a way which exceeded all of my expectations. First off, upon discovering this band, I thought it was going to be mediocre at best. It was probably naive of me to think this but I mean they are a new hardcore band from Los Angeles, that’s reason enough to assume them to be generic. Therefore I must thank SlightlyEpic for putting Touche’s full length, “…To the Beat of a Dead Horse”, on his blog, because if he hadn’t I never would have given this band a chance.
Okay so after listening to their full length in its entirety, I was blown away. The album is very hard hitting, and it left me as drained as it left me starving for more Touche Amore. Even though I loved the full length I still didn’t have high expectations for this release because 1. It is the first demo by the band so they may still have been developing their sound, and 2. This demo had two previous versions of lesser songs from the full length on it, Broken Records and Honest Sleep. Those two tracks make up one fourth of the whole thing.
After listening once I have to say it left me in a very similar way as I was left after listening to the full length, drained. The two previous versions of songs from the full length proved to be just as worthy as their remakes, and the other six songs were downright outstanding. They are all extraordinarily simple yet dense and hard hitting. I thought the demo left more of a mark after one listen than the full length, which may be a good thing or a bad thing. It could be good for obvious reasons, but it could potentially be a bad thing because if you love something immediately it may not have lasting power like all albums that are considered ‘classic’ have. I have given this four or five listens, and my opinion remains the same.
Out of eight tracks, only two of them venture above the two minute mark, making this an extremely short release at only fourteen and a half minutes total. The album really is a short, hard hitting burst of emotion. A fitting example would be the song “Huckleberry”. This song is full of emotional lyrics and powerful song writing. It contains some of my favorite lyrics on the album:
Take this time to remember what we've done and what we've accomplished
I dont want to be known regrettably
I'd prefer a coffin to a shoe box and the ocean to dirt and rocks
I'd prefer to sink miles deep than have this opened again
I'm a time capsule that never had much of a soul
Smooth the soil, burn the maps, I'm not ever coming back
This demo is just as catchy as it is emotional. The song Honest Sleep, a song remade for the full length, has a very infectious chorus that sticks with you.
If you liked "...To The Beat of A Dead Horse", check this out because it is basically more of the same, and the same is awesome.
Overall Track Ratings:
Negotiating the Charade: 4.5
Broken Records: 4.5
Changing Lanes: 4
Scene is to be Seen: 3.5
Honest Sleep: 5