Touché Amoré – Is Survived By

written by: September 17, 2013
Album-art-for-Is-Survived-By-by-Touché-Amoré Release Date: September 24, 2013


Post-hardcore powerhouse Touché Amoré is at the forefront of the screamo revival with its third studio LP, Is Survived By, one of the most anticipated post-hardcore releases of the year.

The influential quintet has high expectations to live up to with this release, but quickly proves that the buzz surrounding Is Survived By is well deserved.

The band stands out thanks to Jeremy Bolm’s honest, passionate lyrics and vocals, as well as the group’s unique instrumentals. The focus on the melodic elements of the music makes up for Bolm’s monotone yelling, giving the band a more complete sound than other post-hardcore groups.

Touché Amoré’s approach is much more carefully crafted than the litany of bands that focus solely on the energy of the music, puking out a clash of bad noise and mumbled, indiscernible words.

While the band’s energy is at an all-time high, Is Survived By sounds put together and methodical in its approach.

Touché Amoré has a definite stranglehold on the post-hardcore scene, bringing incredible songwriting and talent to a genre that, when done well, excels in originality. This newest addition to the band’s catalog is by far its best work, and promises to make some waves in the music world.

The excitement for new material from the band was heightened after it released a split EP with Pianos Become the Teeth earlier this year. “Gravity, Metaphorically” was proof of growth and mastery, which brought some newfound attention and piqued listeners’ interest. It also served as a good hint of what was to come from Touché Amoré on Is Survived By.

The group experiments with new styles and lengthier, more developed songs. Typically, its songs last only one to two minutes, which doesn’t leave much room for the progression of a song, but Is Survived By features mostly two- to three-minute tracks. This allows for some variation within each song, and sets this album apart from earlier releases.

For example, on the lone single for the LP, “Just Exist,” there are multiple transitions between distinct factions of the song. The contrasting parts range from controlled to tumultuous, although it sounds fluid as a whole.

It’s also a great example of Bolm’s perpetual lack of lyrical restraint. He’s become increasingly raw as the band progresses, and Is Survived By boasts his most sincere material yet. “Just Exist” is based on Bolm’s memory of being asked how he would like to be remembered in the future. The track explores his thoughts about the question and his ultimate response: “I’d rather stay forever.”

Touché Amoré shows a lot of growth stylistically on songs like “Non Fiction,” which starts as a delicate instrumental piece, but builds up to an epic clamor of emotion.

The music behind Bolm’s ardent vocals mirrors his coarse passion, tying the song together beautifully. This musical experiment is new for the band, but is pulled off perfectly.

Other examples of change include the short, but powerful, “Praise/Love,” which consists of only Bolm and one guitar. His brutal yelling is intensified by the illusion that he’s standing far from the mic, forcing out every line even more powerfully than usual.

The closer and title track is an epic finale that takes the listener through multiple dynamic scene changes, leading up to a compelling ending. The song talks about what gets us through the days, despite what the past holds. It serves as a satisfying ending to one of the best releases of the year.

Touché Amoré has paved its own road in a budding genre, breaking down countless borders and influencing many other post-hardcore bands along the way. Is Survived By is the strongest release from the genre in the past few years. The thoughtful, masterfully constructed album has officially put Touché Amoré on the map.

Touché Amoré – Is Survived By tracklist:

  1. “Just Exist”
  2. “To Write Content”
  3. “Praise / Love”
  4. “Anyone / Anything”
  5. “DNA”
  6. “Harbor”
  7. “Kerosene”
  8. “Blue Angels”
  9. “Social Caterpillar”
  10. “Non Fiction”
  11. “Step”
  12. “Is Survived By”