Review Summary: An astonishing hardcore debut out of California....To The Beat Of A Dead horse
is a relentless experience from start to finish. The introductory squeal of feedback drags the listener into the most harrowing listen that 2009 has to offer. Delivered in short bursts, Californian five-piece Touche Amore
seamlessly integrates screamo and hardcore instrumentation as a backdrop to Jeremy Bolm's gut-wrenching vocals. Bolm sounds desperate to get each sentence off of his chest as he pleadingly screams across the dramatic landscape painted by the brooding guitar lines and precision percussion of Jeremy Zsupnik. The drumming on this album is immaculate, every fill is dynamically pummeled into each track flawlessly. Especially in the rolling tom fills of Honest Sleep
and every aspect of the percussion in Broken Records
The production on ...To The Beat
serves each dynamic in Touche Amore
fittingly. The lows in the bass guitar and bass drum are dense under the shrill echo of Bolm's screaming in a room. The melodic guitars play off of each other, woven into each track. This is some of my favorite production on any album, the denseness of it all. The way the percussion reverberates behind the dramatic riffing of the guitars.
The transitioning of each song is well executed albeit some of these songs took some time to grow on me. The repeated, "I'm losing sleep, I'm losing friends, I've got a love hate love with the city I'm in..." lines closing Honest Sleep
into the immediacy of Cadence
. The way Throwing Copper
boils down into a rest afterwards. The pounding exit of Suckerfish
into the drum roll of Broken Records
. The brutal plodding of Always Running, Never Looking Back
closes the album with gorgeously tragic guitar lines.
It also can't go without mentioning what this album has to offer lyrically. With gems such as, "I'll go to Morrissey to answer my questions because Ian Curtis has left me hanging.". The catharsis in the refrain of, "I am marching to the beat of a dead horse.". And the dramatic final sentence of Adieux
, "I was not born with a strong voice, it's never been one to boom. But I'll be damned to go out quiet, if it's the only thing I'll lose.". At many points on this album I was left with the hairs on my arms standing up.
If for some reason you haven't given this nearly flawless debut a listen, do yourself a favor and do so immediately. This LP gave us every reason to hold very high expectations of it's follow-up and evidently, Touche Amore
show no signs of fatigue in their sophomore effort Parting The Sea Between Brightness And Me
here in 2011.