Pianos Become the Teeth
The Lack Long After


4.0
excellent

Review

by Matthew D. French USER (50 Reviews)
November 6th, 2011 | 40 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: No mirth, no levity, no amazing grace - just a flame on a lake floating away.

Pianos Become the Teeth alluded to a different musical direction earlier in 2011 when they stated that they wanted their new LP to sound ‘darker’, ‘heavier’, and anything but an extension of Old Pride. That isn’t to say that their debut was unsatisfactory by any stretch of the imagination, but rather that musical growth is something of steadfast importance to them. Flattered by the notion of being labeled a ‘screamo’ act but ultimately resenting the consequence of being pigeonholed, the band sought to escape the rudiments of their genre with a captivating sophomore release. Ditching some of the juvenile characteristics of Old Pride, Pianos Become the Teeth have mostly succeeded in their vision to create a better album with more substance. It’s a cultivated, sincere - albeit slightly homogeneous - sound. Notwithstanding this uniformity, The Lack Long After lifts liberally from its contemporaries to fashion an honest and impassioned album of fiery conviction.

If Old Pride didn’t quite cement their spot as a conspicuous act, then The Lack Long After will surely get listeners to do a double-take, as it sees the band sit high atop the echelons of this ‘new wave’ of post-hardcore outfits. Pianos Become the Teeth take some of the best elements of the antiquated ‘90s screamo scene and integrate them with Envy-esque post-rock sections. “I’ll Be Damned” kicks the album off with a jolt as vocals, imbued with a sense of hopelessness and disparity, aggressively tear through tasteful guitar work. Right away it’s obvious that the production and screams have both been sharpened to a higher standard. The singer sounds tortured - pathetic even, but not in a way that connotes negativity, rather a way that allows them to fluidly emote to their target audience. Every shriek and frayed wail is sincere, and when Kyle Durfey savagely cries: “I watched her crawl in bed with you/I watched her wet your lips/and couldn’t do a God damned thing/I watched you shake/I watched our hearts break” on “Spine” one can’t help but get the feeling he means it - that he’s been through the wringer. There’s a lingering sense of legitimate contempt being channeled through Durfey’s voice in ever song. Every line is hammered with staunch conviction, displayed with such longing, and exudes confidence in a way that Old Pride never did.

All of the songs on The Lack Long After are more focused, more tightly knit, and never overstay their welcome. “Liquid Courage” is the post-rock gem of the album that veils the vocals in lieu of an epic instrumental build, leading perfectly into the frenzied rush of thrashing drums and guitar distortion that refuse to sit still on “Spine”. “Such Confidence” houses the best build of any song on the album with one of the most rewarding conclusions, thanks to sporadic drumming. Even the less noteworthy cuts like “Shared Bodies” are at least great in some regard. But it’s the apocalyptic closer “I’ll Get By”, that shines the most. Ironically enough, it feels like the most controlled and restrained song on the album, but manages to emote far more than any other. It’s such a youthful cry of the pain and anguish felt from death, encompassing all of the lingering, unanswered questions, the fleeting nature of life, and the hopelessness felt from losing someone close to your heart. If the harrowing subject matter alone isn’t enough to elicit an emotional response from its listeners, then Durfey’s unadulterated vocals will surely do it. “It seems we all get sick/We all die in some no-name hospital/with the same colored walls/And I guess that's fine/But I want to swallow/I want to stomach/I want to live!” laments Durfey. It’s cynical, maybe even juvenile to some, but it’s unquestionably affecting.

While its imperfections add immensely to the final product, they also may (for some) detract from the replayability of the album as well. The only discernible fault of the album is that it’s perhaps a little uniform, but that’s just another way of saying it’s consistent, and what the band is doing here is completely honest, unfiltered, and exciting. The Lack Long After is an unrestrained album of fury and emotion that unabashedly revels in despondency. Every aspect of Pianos Become the Teeth’s sound has been improved: the drumming reels its listeners in effortlessly and the guitar riffs help propel Durfey’s fractured leads. And it all starts to become clear that Durfey isn’t feigning this, he legitimately sounds like he’s on the cusp of an emotional meltdown, and it helps wondrously to contextualize the album’s central thesis. By the time the album has run its course, we’re left with a note free of resolution, but faint optimism is present: "I want you to know, I'm learning patience against my will/I want you to know I'll get by/Always barely scraping/With just a hunger/With just a heart apart”. It’s a hell of a thing.

Life goes on because it has to. These things, they never leave - they stay with you. The smell of the viewing, your friends singing your praises, the flower boot that never bloomed until we lost you...



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user ratings (755)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Gavininseawater13 (5)
    ‘The Lack Long After’ is an intense and confronting album with such prevalent emotion ...

    Jack Boaden (5)
    A masterpiece....

    Neal Zetek (4)
    "I'm pleading for one more time with what I know now."...

    Pentagon (4.5)
    Mixes elements of screamo, hardcore, and post-rock in order to create one of the best albu...

  • Eli EMERITUS (4.5)
    A profound and engaging musical experience that displays why Pianos Become the Teeth are s...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Omaha
Staff Reviewer
November 6th 2011


10382 Comments


Great review man, I need to check this out for sure. I know I'd love it

Digging: Thou - Heathen

Gyromania
November 6th 2011


16088 Comments


Originally posted here: http://www.thealtreview.net/2011/11/06/pianos-become-the-teeth-the-lack-long-after/

Anyways, I'm really in love with this at the moment =]

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
November 6th 2011


10382 Comments


Ooh I beat your first comment!

Gyromania
November 6th 2011


16088 Comments


Haha, I wasn't expecting someone to comment on this so quickly :P Anyways, thanks man, and yeah, you would likely enjoy this.

Here's my favorite song (I'll Get By), for anyone unsure of whether or not they want to give this a try: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6GyxQIQ-0k&feature=related

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
November 6th 2011


22047 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this clicked

Liquid Courage and Sunsetting are my favourites. The solo on the later is incredible

Digging: Andy Stott - Faith in Strangers

Adabelle
November 6th 2011


4260 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Pos'd.

Irving
Staff Reviewer
November 6th 2011


7321 Comments


Reviews like these make it clear that you're the writer that's setting the standard for future Contributor-hopefuls. Very well-written review Gyro; have a well-deserved pos. A half dozen more reviews like these over the next few weeks and I wouldn't be surprised if you were made Contrib when (and if) they do a second round of promotions in the near future.

Keep it up bud! =)

Tyrael
November 6th 2011


20971 Comments


Ok so I really don't like this album

But yeah great review Matthew!

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
November 6th 2011


24098 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

fantastic review

i am in sweet, blissful love with this album.

Digging: Mitski - bury me at makeout creek

Tyrael
November 6th 2011


20971 Comments


You seem to be in sweet blissful love with a lot of things this year Aids

Xenophanes
Emeritus
November 6th 2011


10663 Comments


Holy shit Matt I told you not to blow me out of the water TOO much! Awesome, awesome review. Seriously keep it the fuck up!

Digging: Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta III - Saturnian Poetry

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
November 6th 2011


24098 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

yeah, 2011 fucking kicks ass

greg84
Staff Reviewer
November 6th 2011


7464 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Awesome review sir! I might check this out.

Xenophanes
Emeritus
November 6th 2011


10663 Comments


I know Aids I've never handed out so many 4.5's before. I'm typically a ratings stickler but damn.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
November 6th 2011


24098 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

my best of 2011 list is going to be disgusting. I gave out so many high marks this year.

AggravatedYeti
November 6th 2011


7685 Comments


hey what a nice little review right here.

Gyromania
November 6th 2011


16088 Comments


Xeno and Irving: Thanks a lot, guys! Honestly, I'm humbled by your words, as I consider you both two of the best writers on the site. It means a lot =D

Thanks to the rest of you as well!

yeah, 2011 fucking kicks ass

Ugh, I know, I've been handing out 4s and 4.5s left right and center. This year is chock-full of splendid albums, and I think I have about 15 4.5s. Still, my average rating 3.58, which I'm fine with -- this is just a phenomenal year for music it seems. I wish I could say the same of film.

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
November 6th 2011


22047 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I've only given out one 4.5 this year and that was for an EP

Tyrael
November 6th 2011


20971 Comments


yeah, 2011 fucking kicks ass

Not in the metal department, ughhhh

I've only given out one 4.5 this year and that was for an EP

Let me guess... Coloring Book? :]

TheSpirit
November 6th 2011


18001 Comments


we've been over this

Digging: The Speed of Sound in Seawater - Red Version



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