Review Summary: anxiety, isolated and amplified.
In growing up we always leave certain things behind, through the traits and characteristics that barely made it through, that we mostly just look back and self-crucify in our present minds. It’s the one thing that almost any human can relate to at some point whether they want to admit it or not, but every human grows up and every human changes. Most of the time we don’t even realize it and that’s exactly what encapsulates everything Touché Amoré have been through knowingly and unknowingly. Unlike their timely “wave” counterparts, they weren’t concerned with telling a story, they weren’t concerned with keeping food on the table, they were concerned with framing their feelings in a way that they could put it all together cohesively and look back on it fondly as well as pridefully. Parting The Sea Between Brightness and Me
is a record that’s not necessarily concerned with the future, it’s a record concerned with getting through the day and taking the anxious characteristics of emo and stringing it out beautifully to paint a haunting picture of existential anxiety in an adolescent mind without overstaying its welcome.
Touché Amoré have also been a band that have matured quite thoughtfully in retrospect. They’ve always been a band that has acknowledged their flaws, corrected and calculated their errors, and moved on. They’re a collective that’s determined to do their best with what they have at that given time and 2011’s Parting The Sea Between The Brightness and Me
is no exception to that. They’ve simply just been a band that’s only concerned with being who they are and no one else. Many bands may sound like Touché Amoré, but Elliot Babin’s intensely erratic drum performances nor Jeremy Bolm’s youthful angst-ridden energy will ever be replicated to the full extent that they display here. Surely it’s not perfect, but the soundscapes created with songs like “Face Ghost” or “Condolences” send listeners into familiar but unforeseen territory for the band, developing off of the foundation placed on 2009’s ...to the beat of a dead horse
in a blooming fashion. They developed this sound furthermore into maturity with 2013’s life-affirming Is Survived By
and 2016’s cathartic meditation on death that was Stage Four
but we need to appreciate the development and middle ground that bands take on their way through life to the greatness that they’ve been striving for. Parting The Sea Between Brightness and Me
may act like it’s suffering, but the light was there with Touché Amoré from the beginning and that is nothing but clear through the effectively blunt lyrics and always-running-never-looking-back mentality displayed on their breakthrough sophomore masterpiece.