Artist: Touché Amoré
Album Title: Is Survived By
Label: Deathwish, Inc.
Released: Sept. 13, 2013
When you die and your face is thrown into an obituary with some story telling of the days you lived, would it suffice and carry the legacy you had imagined? Will your outlived have something to push long after you’re gone? Or is death simply the beginning to all the dizzying growth we experience now in this waiting room of life. These notions are broad strokes to what Touché Amoré’s third, and most riveting, release Is Survived By finds itself addressing. The sound and thought provoking nature of this impassioned band from Los Angeles, has awoken the very meaning of what it means to “Just Exist”, which is the name of the first track on the album.
The post-hardcore ferocity of Is Survived By has solidified what Touché Amoré had made formulaic in previous releases, with airy guitars that seem to contradict the hopeful burning in Jeremy Bolm’s throat. The lyrical content alone is brimming with volumes of intellectual introspection and narrative deliverance, as vocalist Bolm methodically rips into the songs with anguish and a constant feeling of dislocation. This sprawling blend of inventive, and screamo-influenced, hardcore give their sound a familiarity to the serrated emotion of greats past—a resurgence of something forgotten in those bands, but still absolutely DIY.
The album, while staying true to the genre’s poignant propensities, comes together in a maturing collection of impressive beauty and vulnerability all too refreshing and real. Every song has a yearning to quest that blossom into a triumphant anthem of completeness. Although Is Survived By won’t get the praise it most certainly deserves, it is a great record—arguably the best of the year. And even if that means driving a few hundred miles out of town to witness their masterfully raw performance, it’s worth a listen. This review will not do justice to the musical talent and ambition of Touché Amoré and their masterpiece to date: Is Survived By
“To swallow mortality is enough of a task and leaving your mark is just too much to ask. I’ll just bow my head and leave out the back.”
Reviewed by David J. Rivera