Review Summary: An acceptable follow-up to a promising debut.
Touche Amore's recent line-up rearranging has gone pretty overlooked. The growing band features a new bassist, a new drummer, and the original bassist took over guitar duties (the band has 3 guitarists now I believe). With a debut that was so compelling and hard-hitting, the change in line-up made me look at this sophomore effort a little harder than normal.
"Parting the Sea" trades in the dense, intimate production of "...To the Beat" for crisper, less bassy production. This change caters to the band's evolving sound. This time around vocalist Jeremy Bolm seems to have changed his outlook on things. The lyrics are notably more positive this time around. I found myself cringing at some of the lines like, "it loses its feel of mystery and any hope that it can give me reason not to just stop screaming out loud."
Nonetheless, "Parting the Sea" is kept afloat by a handful of great songs. Namely "~", "Art Official", "Uppers/Downers", and "Home Away From Here", which demonstrate the band's dynamic, methodical hybrids of hardcore/screamo. The band could have easily gone through the motions of their debut, it's nice to see them evolving.
It's exciting to think of what we have coming our way from Touche Amore.
A new bassist as a result. And an entirely new drummer.
both of these are fragments and makes the beginning of the review read very awkwardly. There are lots more errors but I can't be fucked to point them all out right now. I'd say proofread/re-write this.
I agree with a lot of your review, though the writing itself is pretty choppy and seems rushed, sort of like the record sometimes. Plus, you don't exactly justify why you've given this a 4 (which I agree that it deserves), rather you spend most of your review harboring on its shortcomings.
Either way, this record rules. Just as much as Dead Horse, in my opinion.
It's gone kind of under the radar that Touche Amore underwent such a significant change in lineup. A new bassist, a new drummer, and the original bassist taking over for a lost guitarist.
I would change this just a little more to the following:
It's gone kind of under the radar that Touche Amore underwent such a significant change in lineup, including a new bassist, a new drummer, and the original bassist taking over for a lost guitarist.
Also, with the 4th paragraph, I would combine it with the former paragraph and combine those last two sentences, so you'd have something like:
A handful of tracks fell embarrassingly short of my high expectations, especially in passages such as, "it loses its feel of mystery and any hope that it can give me reason not to just stop screaming out loud."
As for the last two paragraphs, I think it could be made just a little more cogent with some small changes:
Nonetheless, "Parting the Sea" is saved by a handful of expertly assembled songs. Namely "~", "Art Official", "Uppers/Downers", and "Home Away From Here", which demonstrate impressively dynamic songwriting, as well as shifting hybrids of the post-hardcore/screamo combination the band chooses to incorporate. It's inspiring that they didn't just go through motions of "...To the Beat" which they could have very well done and gotten away with, and it's exciting to think of what we have coming our way from Touche Amore.
I know that might seem like a lot of constructive criticism to throw at you but I think with those changes it'll read a lot smoother, and the changes you've made do make it a nicer review than it originally was. Nice job, keep working at it and you'll get there in no time at all.