Album Review
Touché Amoré - Is Survived By Album Cover

Touché Amoré - Is Survived By

Reviewed by
Touché AmoréIs Survived By
Record Label: Deathwish Inc.
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Is Survived By is the third full length by Los Angeles post-hardcore outfit Touché Amoré. Included in “The Wave” with fellow post-hardcore bands La Dispute, Defeater, Pianos Become the Teeth and Make Do and Mend, Touche Amore continues to separate themselves from the pack in what is, overall, a solid release.

"Just Exist" was the debut track from this highly anticipated album and generally fell far from people’s expectations of the new Touché Amoré after hearing the guitar driven, hard-hitting Whale Belly and the lengthy, monumental Gravity, Metaphorically from their splits with The Casket Lottery and Pianos Become The Teeth, respectively. The new (or, more refined) sound shows a continuation of the melodic quality of their 2011 full length Parting the Sea Between Brightness and Me with elements of the powerful delivery of 2009’s …To the Beat of a Dead Horse, and "Just Exist" is a worthy representation of this sound, though it may not be the best choice for the opener.

“To Write Content” remained a forgettable song, the only light shining through being the distant harmony yells and the end of the song, where the instrumentals cool down and Jeremy Bolm interludes into a roughly spoken verse until yelling “It’s hard to write content” which was executed well enough to make me sit through this song to hear. Bolm also seems to apologize/prepare the listener for the noticeable lack of lyrical ability.

“Praise/Love” and “Anyone/Anything” are a power-couple. “Praise/Love” is reminiscent of “Condolences” but instead of a somber piano piece, it’s a subdued guitar part under forceful yells which calls back to the focus on emphasized vocals that was evident on songs like “Honest Sleep” and “Always Running, Never Looking Back.” “Praise/Love” also includes one of the best lines on this album and Touché’s career (which is proved to be self-aware when Bolm spouts the same line as the parting words of “Anyone/Anything”): “A glutton for praise / a glutton for love / abuse my name for all of the above.” “Anyone/Anything” is one of Touché’s catchiest songs and gives the first taste of the triumphant essence that the record exhibits.

The drumming on “DNA” is something that needs to be commended; Elliot Babin has proved himself repeatedly to be an outstanding drummer and this time is no different: any skeptic can appreciate Babin’s drumming as it’s at its best. “Harbor” has that grooving bass undertone (which would be better if they weren’t undertones) and the same existential, self-deprecating lyrical aspect that manages to retain a tinge of triumph amidst the steady-rising storm portrayed by the melting pot that is the guitar, drum and bass combo.

Six songs in and you’ve seen the good and bad of this record but the second half showcases what Is Survived By is all about: driving aggression, melodic instrumentals and triumph over questioning yourself constantly and accepting the fact that things change, however simple that message may be presented. "Kerosene" and "Blue Angels" hold the same melodic tendencies but a special breed of aggressiveness in the hyphy delivery and certain guitar parts combined with some of the better instrumentals and sensibilities that provide a good insight as to what the rest of the record has to offer (which by all means is no disappointment.)

"Social Caterpillar" is the song I make jokes of because of the fact that the lyrics are something I can already see in varsity font on a teenage girl’s Tumblr. “Don’t worry / I still get dizzy / in the usual situations”. And that’s fine and all, this song is rad, the delivery of that line is appropriate and this is actually one of the best songs because of its wholesome instrumental package.

"Non Fiction" is a post-rock half spoken word song. I don’t think I need to say much else but if you needed convincing: it’s great. "Steps" and "Is Survived By" are massive, colossal tracks and a killer way to end this record. These are the two songs everyone will scream along to (“So write a song that everyone can sing along to / so when you’re gone / you can live on / they won’t forget you.”). This is the final yell on Is Survived By. These two tracks are the embodiment of what was an underlying sense of accomplishment. This is the triumph over just existing and actually being.

With Is Survived By, Touché Amoré brings a question to mind that isn’t temporary, it isn’t something you can relate to only at a certain point in your life or when your down and out, but it is a boundless, timeless wonder: What will I leave behind? What will survive me?

Recommended If You LikeParting the Sea Between Brightness and Me; post hardcore; La Dispute; Defeater; “The Wave”; melodic hardcore

This review is a user submitted review from DisasterCode. You can see all of DisasterCode's submitted reviews here.
Displaying posts 1 - 7 of 7
12:23 AM on 09/23/13
these pretzels are makin me thirst
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tottivillarossi's Avatar
"point in your life or when your down and out"


Solid review, though.
03:11 PM on 09/23/13
Witness me bloodbag! Witness me!
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nowFace's Avatar
I swear I thought it was Aaron Weiss doing the spoken word part in Non Fiction.
04:03 PM on 09/23/13
it's good to have options
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"point in your life or when your down and out"


Solid review, though.

Damn typos. Appreciate it!
07:28 PM on 10/05/13
Registered User
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04:08 PM on 10/07/13
Rock Bottom Records
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This record is a top 10 in my favorites of 2013 for sure. But a good amount of the lyrics are cheesy one liners, which is a huge drawback for me i suppose. Anyone / Anything has a fantastic chorus, IMO.
08:30 AM on 10/08/13
it's good to have options
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This record is a top 10 in my favorites of 2013 for sure. But a good amount of the lyrics are cheesy one liners, which is a huge drawback for me i suppose. Anyone / Anything has a fantastic chorus, IMO.
Agreed, very catchy but predictable and generic, feel like I've heard those same words from a few different bands. If I listened to this like I listen to Dance Gavin Dance, I wouldn't care at all and this would probably be my AOTY; hell, it might still be. We'll see.

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