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Troubled Coast - Awake And Empty Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8
Musicianship 8
Lyrics 8
Production 8
Creativity 8
Lasting Value 8
Reviewer Tilt 8
Final Verdict: 80%
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Troubled Coast - Awake And Empty

Reviewed by: Ryan Gardner (10/09/12)
Troubled CoastAwake And Empty
Record Label: Pure Noise Records
Release Date: October 9, 2012


Last year, we had our fair share of emotionally stirring records in “the scene.” Separation echoed the angst and hopelessness of many trying to escape the shallow nature of living in society today. The Lack Long After put heartbreak to music with such emotion that it left me trembling at first listen. I Wish I Could Stay Here sounded fit for an earlier decade, reflecting on the way things fall apart when nothing stays the same. Parting The Sea Between Brightness And Me crafted the loss of footing and feeling of increasing desperation into menacing 2 minute songs.

This year, the angst and anxiety felt through day to day living has been reflected throughout punk outings on Everything You Ever Loved, On The Impossible Past, and the upcoming colourmeinkindness – sorry Handguns, you unfortunately didn’t make this cut. Throughout these records, sense of isolation within modern society has rung true note after note.

Well, Troubled Coast’s sophomore record, Awake And Empty, can be added to the list, leaning more toward the hardcore side of the spectrum than punk. The messy sound of their I’ve Been Thinking About Leaving You earlier this year made it fall by the wayside. However, things are different this time, as Awake And Empty benefits from crisp production. Look no further than the ringing guitars that open “Brother” for proof of this statement. Once Mike Scornaienchi’s crippling vocals ring through the guitar strings, his roar hits like a tidal wave.

A heavy bass line sets the defeating tone of “Confidence” right off the bat. The song will inevitably be an anthem at live shows, as the whole crowd will surely yell, “The wait of the world was in your arms” at the top of their lungs. On the other hand, rather than being full out heavy jams, tracks like “Northwest” and “1967” add a little spice to the mix, utilizing tag-team screams and clean vocals of Scornaienchi and Cory Bardwell. The former of these features one of the best (and almost masked) lyrics on the record: “If I could rearrange I’d trade the better parts of you for the worst of me so everyone could be everything.”

Sure, there’s not a lot of sunlight let through on this record. Rather, Troubled Coast reflect on the agonies of life, releasing one of the finest hard-whatever-core records of the year. On the menacing “Winter” deafening guitars rip through the speakers as Scornaienchi wails, “For all the years that we believed the cause / For all the years that we were bent and never broke / For all the songs that we wish we never wrote / We’re getting old, not sitting out.” There’s a sense of growing old and still looking for something – anything – engrained throughout these songs.

The final song on the record contains some of the most polarizing words on the record: “All I believe is we’re empty/awake like everything/like everyone.” As the band continues to wail, “If this is the end then I’m no longer afraid,” it’s clear that there is no hope to be found here yet. Instead, Troubled Coast leave us with a sense of desperation through isolation. These songs aren’t about to be a shining light to guide us through the darkness; rather, they serve more as a companion for the blackness. But that’s just fine, because life isn’t always full of optimism or cheerful times, which is exactly why Troubled Coast’s Awake And Empty ranks among the top tier of heavy records this year.

8/10

Recommended If You LikeTherefore I Am; Balance and Composure; Touche Amore; Basement

Additional InformationTrack Listing:
1. Brother
2. Winter
3. Confidence
4. 1967
5. Northwest
6. Missoula / Big Sur
7. Twenty
8. Sister
9. Signals
10. Lonely States

Troubled Coast is:
Mike Scornaienchi – Vocals
Cory Bardwell – Guitar, Vocals
Tahm Altemus – Guitar
Brandon Wark – Guitar
Kerry Gould – Drums
Randy Staat – Bass

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Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 22
10:28 PM on 10/09/12
#2
cut!print
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I swear, I will like anything PureNoise puts out. They've had some amazing releases this year and this album doesn't disappoint! Good review.
06:16 AM on 10/10/12
#3
InaGreendase
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Solid. It's missing a certain dynamic, but it's the best of their five releases. Good Saosin/Engine Down/Thrice/As Cities Burn mashing-up.
06:28 AM on 10/10/12
#4
absintheparty9
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After really enjoying their previous work I had pretty high hopes. They delivered on all accounts. Must...seee...live!
Good review!
06:55 AM on 10/10/12
#5
MXP
aka Max Phillips
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I swear, I will like anything PureNoise puts out. They've had some amazing releases this year and this album doesn't disappoint! Good review.

Agree with all of this. Best record company right now in terms of bands/quality IMO
07:19 AM on 10/10/12
#6
Zack Zarrillo
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Such a great, great record.
07:49 AM on 10/10/12
#7
sampura
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Interesting that you think the EP's production sucked, but that this LP's production is awesome because I did both records. And I highly doubt that "the messy production of their I’ve Been Thinking About Leaving You earlier this year made it fall by the wayside."

You mean my production is to blame for them not having a successful EP? That's a pretty ignorant statement, especially because both records sound great.

Thanks.
08:42 AM on 10/10/12
#8
Ryan Gardner
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Interesting that you think the EP's production sucked, but that this LP's production is awesome because I did both records. And I highly doubt that "the messy production of their I’ve Been Thinking About Leaving You earlier this year made it fall by the wayside."

You mean my production is to blame for them not having a successful EP? That's a pretty ignorant statement, especially because both records sound great.

Thanks.
I guess I worded that incorrectly. I just meant the overall sound of the record - not the production. This one sounds great

Apologies and I've reworded it
08:56 AM on 10/10/12
#9
Stephin_DC
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Remind me a lot of Saosin Translating the Name Era .... really impressed by it
09:47 AM on 10/10/12
Jaytothesyg
The Greatest Generation
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I like what I've heard from this record a lot, I just haven't had the time to sit down and listen to it fully yet.

Pure Noise is definitely proving themselves as a worthy label
02:17 PM on 10/10/12
_veges_
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Love the record, but I'm not sure if I love it as much as I've Been Thinking About Leaving You
03:34 PM on 10/10/12
CastlesXClouds
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holy shit, i absolutely loved this review. you talked about production, the songs themselves, and dove into the thematic elements involved with the record. you didnt have any fluff either. short&simple, I dig the review but even more excited to listen to the record now
04:15 PM on 10/10/12
drummer13
http://chaplinband.bandcamp.com/
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Honestly, no offense to Sam Pura or anyone who helped produce this record, as I've loved past releases from Panda Studios, but I actually felt the production was lacking a bit here, at least on the drums. the cymbals sound almost fuzzy and distorted sometimes, and the bass and snare are very weak in some areas. It's a fantastic record, and this is just my opinion (I am a drummer, I'm biased), but I was disappointed in a lot of the sounds from the drums. The guitars, bass, and vocals sound fantastic though.
05:52 PM on 10/10/12
sampura
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Honestly, no offense to Sam Pura or anyone who helped produce this record, as I've loved past releases from Panda Studios, but I actually felt the production was lacking a bit here, at least on the drums. the cymbals sound almost fuzzy and distorted sometimes, and the bass and snare are very weak in some areas. It's a fantastic record, and this is just my opinion (I am a drummer, I'm biased), but I was disappointed in a lot of the sounds from the drums. The guitars, bass, and vocals sound fantastic though.

Completely disagree. Sounds like you expected triggered drums. These are all real with pretty much nothing but room mics on the cymbals.
07:24 PM on 10/10/12
bobsheiskawy
www.facebook.com/misewell
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riyl: la dispute with choruses.
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