Album Review: Touche Amore – “Parting The Sea Between Brightness And Me”

From it’s beautiful, twinkling opening notes I could already tell that I was going to love Touche Amore’s new album. Being a huge fan of the band, I can safely say I was more than just a little excited when the band announced they would release a full-length on Deathwish and I somehow knew I wouldn’t be disappointed. But honestly, not disappointed is a modest answer to the how awed I was by “Parting The Sea Between Brightness & Me”.

Though it boast a whopping 13 songs, the album clocks in at just under 19 minutes. Before you can even blink an eye Touche Amore have already tore through four songs and are half way through the fifth, and much like a speeding car whipping around the corner, you don’t really understand what hit you until suddenly the song is done and you’re a bloody mess on the pavement. Though Touche Amore have added a lot more melody into their music on this offering, it doesn’t detract from how massive this album sounds and it’s impressive what these dudes can do as far as composition considering most of their songs don’t even reach the 2 minute mark. Take “Sesame” and “Amends” for examples which swim through the air with a disjointed grace not many bands can harness, both balancing somewhere between methodical and raw passion, but steer clear away from sounding overworked or like sheer noise at any point. Adding to this is the album’s ridiculous flow, which makes it seems like they recorded the entire thing in one solid take and simply split the songs up. The album’s cohesion allows a certain blurring to occur, and while this is not welcome in most music, it works nicely for this particular release  since it mimics the cluttery rush of emotions that it carries. Moods forever rising and falling, a dark and urgent ebb and flow which ends on the last crashing notes of “Amends”.

Lyrically, vocalist Jeremy Bolm has never been more on the ball. His words on this album primarily concentrate on being rootless, always being on the go, dealing with the grind of the touring life as it takes those you love away. One should look no further than the piano driven “Condolences” to show case how a man can say so much with so  few words since it reads more like eulogy than a song as Bolm screams: “If you fantasize about your funeral, I understand, I’ve been there before.” “Parting The Sea Between Brightness And Me” is filled with verses that will send chills up your spine and make you feel good in the shuddering. But touring has done more for Bolm than just give him ink for his pen, it has also given him experience with his particularly clear, throaty scream. While I love Jacob Bannon’s absolutely shredded rasp, it’s refreshing to hear a scream like Bolm’s, specially when the lyrics are so important.

“Parting the Sea Between Brightness And Me” is a mesmerizing and beautiful album, tapping deep into the the struggles of a band that seem to be perpetually on tour. A life of driving, running and playing music summed up into 18 of the most intense minutes of 2011. Bravo.

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