Entries tagged with: Touche Amore
by Andrew Sacher
Touche Amore @ Revolution in July (more by Mimi Hong)
No Sleep Records is putting out a new compilation this week, A Comp For Mom, which is a tribute to label founder Chris Hansen's mom who recently passed away. Here's what Chris had to say about it:
A Comp For Mom is a special project i planned over the past month of my mom's life, to release in her honor and to help raise funds for her medical bills. Now it will be released in memory of her. 100% of the proceeds will be going towards any medical bills/other expenses incurred after her passing, after that 100% of the proceeds will go into a Linda Hansen Memorial Fund.The comp features rare and unreleased tracks by La Dispute, Into It. Over It., Now, Now, Run Forever and more, as well as covers such as Allison Weiss taking on The Beatles' "In My Life," Daisyhead doing Jimmy Eat World's "Work" and, recorded special for this compilation, Touché Amore's version of The National's "Available" that they played at Revolution last month. The song, which is a digital-only bonus track, mostly features singer Jeremy Bolm using clean vocals until the song's end when he brings back his trademark scream.
I love you Mom, say hi to Dad for me.
You can pre-order A Comp For Mom now. A full stream of the compilation premieres in this post and can be listened to below.
photos by Mimi Hong
Touche Amore / Tigers Jaw @ Revolution - 7/15/14
Touche Amore brought their ongoing tour with Tigers Jaw and Dads through the NYC-area for a sold-out Long Island show at Revolution Bar & Music Hall Tuesday night (7/15). TA mostly split the set between their two most recent albums, Is Survived By and Parting the Sea Between Brightness and Me, but included others as well, like early fan favorite "Honest Sleep," the song from their Pianos Become the Teeth split, and a cover of The National's "Available" with clean vocals (!) until the song's ending, of course. Check out a very short clip of that with Jeremy Bolm doing his best Matt Berninger impression, below. The recording will appear on the upcoming No Sleep compilation.
Tigers Jaw (who currently share a drummer with TA, and whose Brianna Collins briefly joined Touche during their set) went on right before, playing a 15-song set split between highlights off their excellent new album, Charmer, as well as older cuts like "Plane Vs. Tank Vs. Submarine" and "I Saw Water." Pictures of the show are in this post.
Touche Amore will be back in the NYC-area when their tour with Rise Against and Radkey hits Best Buy Theater on September 26 and Wellmont Theatre on September 30. Tickets for those shows are still available.
More pictures, with Touche and Tigers Jaw's setlists, below...
by Andrew Sacher
United Nations (photo by Pablo Van Winkle)
The tracks keep coming the highly anticipated sophomore album from United Nations, The Next Four Years (due 7/15 via Temporary Residence Ltd). You've already heard "Serious Business" and "Meanwhile on Main St" and the band have now unleashed a third, "United Nations vs United Nations." When I saw UN play this song at 285 Kent last year, singer Geoff Rickly introduced it by saying that the other United Nations sued them over their name, and said he thinks it's really easy for people with money and power to push around people without money and power, so they did a little pushing back. Hence, "United Nations vs United Nations." Check it out below.
United Nations isn't the only thing Geoff Rickly has been up to lately though. The former Thursday frontman also recently re-launched his label, Collect Records. The label was already responsible for releasing the first Touche Amore album (with 6131) and the first United Nations album (with Eyeball), and currently has new 7" releases planned from Touche Amore, Title Fight, Saves the Day and more.
Collect also just released the a-side of the new single from No Devotion, aka the new band of Geoff Rickly (vocals) plus the members of Lostprophets (you may know that Lostprophets' singer is in jail for some unspeakable crimes). The single will be out July 22 but you can now stream "Stay," a track more akin to arena goth than United Nations' searing hardcore. Check it out below.
Stream the new UN and No Devotion songs, below...
Touche Amore at Santos in 2011 (more by Rebecca Reed)
Non-stop tourers Touche Amore already have a lengthy run with Tigers Jaw and Dads kicking off this Friday (6/27) and hitting the NYC-area for a Long Island show on 7/15 at Revolution (sold out), and they've now added a run providing direct support to Rise Against, with openers Radkey. That tour hits NYC on September 26 at Best Buy Theater and Montclair, NJ a few days later at Wellmont Theatre on September 30. Tickets for those shows go on sale Friday (6/27) at 10 AM, and the Wellmont show is now on fan club presale, goes on Citi presale today (6/24) at 3 PM, and Ticketmaster presale Wednesday (6/25) at 10 AM.
Radkey also play NYC's 4Knots Music Fest on July 12. All Touche Amore dates are listed, with some videos, below...
by Andrew Sacher
How many albums do you know of that feature guest appearances from two pioneers of emo, one of the finest vocalists in modern-day post-hardcore, two members of a certain Welsh indie pop collective, a shapeshifting art rocker, and one of the biggest pop punk frontmen of all time? Still counting? Well you can add the new Say Anything album, Hebrews (due out 6/10 via Equal Vision), to your list. Max Bemis & co.'s new album features the lead singers of The Get Up KIds, Braid, Touche Amore, Los Campesinos!, mewithoutYou and blink-182, not to mention The Front Bottoms, Manchester Orchestra, Saves the Day, Balance & Composure and still more. Oh, and don't forget Say Anything family members Eisley.
Hebrews is Say Anything's sixth full length album and second on Equal Vision since leaving their major label. And like most of their recent releases, it faces the potential doom of living in the shadow of 2004's ...Is A Real Boy. When that album came out (and even more so when it really broke in 2006 when J reissued it and "Alive with the Glory of Love" was released as a single), it came as a breath of fresh air for the pop punk/emo world which was largely in its unfortunate mallcore phase. To quote The Progress from that same year, it was just similar haircuts with different names. But ...Is A Real Boy, which was only vaguely pop punk or emo, broke from that mold while still being associated with it. The album combined the unconventional with the conventional, let no song by without various bridges and unpredictable changes, and was filled with unstoppable ambition. It makes sense that the veterans of the genre want to be on his new album but trash many other bands that came in their wake.
Anytime a breakthrough is that ambitious and that successful, following it up becomes a treacherous task, and audiences will judge every move you make. Max, always one to be self-aware (see "Admit It!!!"), ahem, admits it on the new album's track "Lost My Touch," which premieres in this post. "Some say I've lost my touch at crafting Say Anything songs," begins Max, before addressing younger musicians on how they can take his place: "Just string together lines of smug self-loathing bile." It sounds tongue-in-cheek but also incredibly earnest, a somber piano ballad version of what made the more aggressive "Admit It!!!" so compelling. And at the end of the song, he brings in Touche Amore frontman Jeremy Bolm to provide a very Touche Amore-like verse, the kind that anyone who's ever connected with TA's own piano ballad, "Condolences," should find rewarding. The great irony by the end of it is you realize Max has crafted a pretty damn good Say Anything song.
As previously mentioned, Say Anything is going on tour with some pretty great openers, The Front Bottoms (who have a new EP coming), The So So Glos and You Blew it!. That tour hits NYC on June 28 at Best Buy Theater. Tickets for that show are still available.
Song stream and LP tracklist below...
LA post-hardcore rippers Touche Amore have been loving the road lately. They've already hit NYC on two tours in the past year in support of 2013's great Is Survived By (we caught them at SXSW too), and they've announced yet another string of North American dates from late June through the end of July with Tigers Jaw and Dads. There's no NYC date for this one, but they'll hit Long Island's Revolution Bar & Music Hall on July 15 and they have the day off before that, so hopefully they'll add something in NYC? Tickets for the Long Island show go on sale Friday (4/25) at 10 AM. All dates are listed below.
All Touche Amore dates, including The Fest, are listed with a recent full-set live video from Tampa, below...
Touche Amore at Santos in 2011 (more by Rebecca Reed)
Gainesville punk mecca The Fest recently announced its 2014 lineup and now many additional artists were announced, including Hot Water Music, Screaming Females, Touche Amore, Pianos Become the Teeth, Modern Baseball, Tiltwheel, The Sidekicks, Rescuer, Spraynard (reunion), Worriers, Three Man Cannon, Two Knights, Ben Nichols, Restorations, Placeholder, Enabler, The Weaks and more. Full list of additions below, and stay tuned for yet another announcement on April 21.
The new additions join previously announced bands Descendents, Lifetime, The Menzingers, The Marked Men, Modern Life Is War, Into It Over It, You Blew It!, Circle Takes the Square, Self Defense Family, Lemuria, The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die, and more. Tickets go on sale on Sunday (4/20) at 4:20 PM.
Lineup additions below...
by Wyatt Marshall
James Kelly with Altar of Plagues at Saint Vitus in 2012 (more by Fred Pessaro)
In 2013, Irish experimental black metal stalwarts Altar of Plagues broke up, an event that understandably left fans bummed out -- they turned out some of the most interesting and heavy hitting black metal out there for the better part of a decade. As you may know, some members went on to form Malthusian, and guitarist/vocalist James Kelly went on to start an electronic project, WIFE.
WIFE will finally come to NYC to play a show on Saint Vitus on April 16. It's a full night of outer sound with gloomed-out one-man experimentalist Planning for Burial, avant-metal band Psalm Zero and experimentalist Greg Fox (ex-Liturgy). Tickets are on sale now. Planning for Burial is the headliner on this one, and though it's his only date at the moment, he's planning a summer tour.
Also, James Kelly's WIFE is not to be confused with California duo WIFE (aka Nick Steinhardt of Touche Amore and Andrew Thomas of Vow). To make matters more confusing, neither WIFE has played many shows, but both have shared bills with Deafheaven, Nick Steinhardt's in LA, and James Kelly's in London.
Stream the new James Kelly WIFE clip, plus some recent Planning for Burial, below...
Though the 2013 Sled Island Festival got flooded out, it returns to Calgary, AB this year from June 18 - 22. The full line-up will be announced on April 29, but artists appearing include St. Vincent, Spiritualized, Neko Case, Rocket from the Crypt (who play NYC tonight), Rhye, Touche Amore, Bob Mould, Mission of Burma, The Julie Ruin, Killer Mike, White Lung, and more. Festival passes are on sale now, with tickets to individual shows going on sale April 11.
Full initial line-up of Sled Island 2014 artists, and a teaser video, below...
Following the death of Westboro Baptist Church leader Fred Phelps, Touche Amore decided to reprise the shirt they created in 2008 to accompany their song, "wehatefredphelps.com." The original shirt featured a line from the song, "We'd love to see you in the ground," and in place of that the new shirts now say "Good Riddance." They were sold (they're now sold out), and all proceeds went to benefit Human Rights Campaign. This caused some internet controversy, and in response, the band posted an explanation to their Facebook on Saturday...
Hello everyone.That's an instagram from the band of the shirt above.
Let's talk. While we were slightly surprised by the controversy our "Good Riddance" t-shirt created, we understand the points made by those of you who looked down on the design. We should have known many of you weren't aware of the background of the shirt and it's story.
Let me explain a little. We originally created this shirt in 2008 as a companion to the song from our demo that year called "wehatefredphelps.com." The original shirt had a line from the song, "We'd love to see you in the ground," in the place where "Good Riddance" is now. The size of the words align with the original design. Kids seemed to like it and it fit with the angst of the band. I originally wrote the song after going to multiple WBC protests to talk to the members of the church about their stance. After recording the song I even tried giving them burned copies and lyric sheets when they protested a Marilyn Manson concert here in LA in 2009.
Here we are years later, and the man has died. We got messages saying we should reprint the design, so we thought "we'll do an updated version and have the proceeds go to benefit what the man lived the last years of his life trying to dismantle." We feel there is beautiful irony in selling an image of a bigot and using the profit towards achieving equality for exactly what they hated. Which is why all net profit (money earned after cost/printing) will be going to http://www.hrc.org
Is it in poor taste? Depends on your taste buds. Poor taste to me is creating an evil cult to protest funerals, discriminate love, and who's website is godhatesfags.com if you wanna just slightly scratch the surface.
The last remaining shirts will be gone sometime tonight or tomorrow, so THANK YOU for all of you who picked up the shirt and supported the cause.
Lastly, I firmly believe that art is best when it creates a public discourse on subjects that matter. So for us to see people talking about these sorts of things is exciting regardless, and we thank you for the conversation.
- Jeremy / TA
Listen to "wehatefredphelps.com" below...
photos by Amanda Hatfield, words by Andrew Sacher
Against Me! / Touche Amore / The Front Bottoms
SXSW is currently underway, and while we still have three day parties and a metal showcase ahead of us, we kicked off our BrooklynVegan events with our official showcase at Red 7 last night (3/12). Unfortunately, we did have to keep the capacity lower than usual after the previous night's over-sold Chance the Rapper show was shut down by the fire marshal. That kept a lot of people waiting on the line outside, but we hope everyone who did get in had as great of a time as we did.
The eccentric and funny Harvey Sid Fisher kicked off the show, which was otherwise an all punk lineup. He could have been hilariously out of place, but he didn't act like it at all and the portion of the crowd who was there seemed entertained (at least we were!), even if they were a little confused. And once Harvey's band joined him to perform his Astrology Songs, they kind of sounded like a band you could have once heard at CBGB. After Harvey, the show kicked into punk mode with sets from Placeholder, Frameworks, Cheap Girls, The Front Bottoms, Touche Amore and Against Me!.
Placeholder, who toured down to Austin from Philly, kept saying on stage how crazy it was to be playing a larger venue than the DIY spots they frequent (something they also talked about in our interview with them), but they didn't sound like a basement band at all. Sounding way more aggressive on stage than on record, they were crunchy, loud, and solid performers that we hope to see on bigger stages again in the future.
After them it was Gainesville screamo kids Frameworks, who are also relatively new (their debut album comes out soon), but we also thought sounded very tight. Their post-rock style build-ups, interludes between songs, and harshly screamed vocals made for a pretty intense set ahead of the two head bopping/singalong bands to come. The first of those, Cheap Girls (who also have a new album on the way), brought us right back to the '90s with their power pop bashers that wouldn't have felt out of place on KROQ. It wasn't lighthearted stuff though. Like Placeholder, they kicked the aggression up a notch with a punk kick and sneering nasally vocals.
Speaking of nasally vocals, The Front Bottoms followed with what we thought was one of the most flat-out fun sets of the night. Maybe it wasn't crazy as a headlining Front Bottoms show, but they're still the kind of band to induce word-for-word shout-alongs from the crowd no matter where they are, and they did just that. It was a total blast in the crowd and the guys seemed like they were in great spirits on stage too.
And speaking of shout-alongs, they didn't stop at all for Touche Amore's set next which had mini mosh pits and the crowd yelling with Jeremy Bolm whenever he ditched his mic. Because of the reduced capacity in the venue, you could navigate the crowd more than at a regular Touche Amore show, but that didn't phase the band or any of the smiling faces in the front rows. Before they made it to Austin, we caught the band in NYC, and as always it was a treat to see them again.
The show wrapped up with a set from the reinvigorated Against Me!, who are back this year with a new lineup, a new album, and sounding great as ever. The new songs fit right in with the older ones, and I didn't realize until last night how many words I knew to the new record. Like with Touche Amore, there was a ton of energy from the crowd up in front, and everyone including the band looked like they were having a ton of fun. We know we were, and if you were there we hope you did too.
In sadder news, our show last night was only a few blocks from the tragedy that struck SXSW, a drunk driving suspect that killed two and injured 23 outside of The Mohawk. Our thoughts go out to the families and friends of the victims, and we hope anyone who was out last night got home safely.
More pictures from our SXSW showcase below...
by Andrew Sacher, Bill Pearis and Zach Pollack
Kurt Vile in Austin in 2013 (more by Glen Brown)
South by Southwest. Maybe you've heard of it. Anyway, it starts in about a week, turning Austin, TX into one giant cacophonous concert where you can't swing a free canvas tote bag full of complimentary energy drinks without hitting a musician vying for your attention. It's actually pretty fun -- apart from the wasted spring breakers everywhere -- but it can be overwhelming. In an effort to help, we've already highlighted metal at SXSW and given you 10 NYC artists that we think are worth seeing, and here's a list of 50 artists we're excited to see at SXSW from all over the world (a few cross over from those other two lists). More than a few are playing one of BV's many events in Austin this week -- and if you're going, do stop by.
We know most people are NOT going to SXSW (and if you're in that group, you may be sick of hearing about it already), but many of these acts are touring around the US on either side of SXSW so it's maybe worth a gander too. We've also got a handy Rdio playlist with a song from each artist.
An embedded version of that playlist, plus our list of 50 artists we wanna see at SXSW (in alphabetical order), below...
photos by Lance Nelson, words by Andrew Sacher
Michigan rockers Cheap Girls are set to release their fourth album, Famous Graves on May 13 (pre-order). It's their first for Xtra Mile Recordings after leaving Rise Records, and sees them back with longtime producer/engineer Rick Johnson after 2012's Laura Jane Grace-produced Giant Orange. The band's sound hasn't changed much, still enamored with the alt-rock and power pop sounds of the '90s, but they continue to hone their songwriting, resulting in some of their best material yet.
Cheap Girls are touring with Against Me! soon, and as discussed, both of those bands will come to Austin for SXSW where they'll play the BrooklynVegan showcase at Red 7 Patio on Wednesday, March 12 with Touche Amore, The Front Bottoms, Frameworks, Placeholder and special guest opener Harvey Sid Fisher (7 PM doors).
Ahead of the tour, I spoke to bassist/vocalist Ian Graham via IM about the new record, their new label, their favorite NYC shows they've played, their relationship with Against Me! and more. We've also got a set of pictures of the band from the Famous Graves recording sessions in this post. More of those pictures, the interview, list of tour dates, and more, below...
photos by Jeremy Silveira, words by Andrew Sacher
Gainesville screamers Frameworks recently inked a deal with Topshelf Records, who will release their debut LP, Loom, on April 29. The material on their excellent EPs had them set up to be one of the better newcomers in the modern screamo scene of bands like Touche Amore and Pianos Become the Teeth, but on the full length, the band is beginning to distance themselves from that. The album's title track, which you can stream below, brings in elements of major key indie rock and afrobeat punk that may be one of the closer things to a middle ground between the Talking Heads and Pg.99.
As discussed, the band will be heading to Austin for SXSW, where they'll play the BrooklynVegan showcase at Red 7 Patio on Wednesday, March 13 with Against Me!, Touche Amore, The Front Bottoms, Cheap Girls, Placeholder and special guest opener Harvey Sid Fisher (7 PM doors.)
After SXSW, the band will head out on a tour with NJ emo band Gates which hits NYC on April 19 at Saint Vitus. Tickets for that show are not on sale yet, but you can check Ticketfly for updates. All tour dates are listed below.
Ahead of all this, we hit up guitarist Andrew and singer Luke on IM to discuss the new album, the Gainesville punk scene, and Luke's disapproval of Andrew's love for John Mayer. We've also got some pictures of them recording Loom with Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Joyce Manor) in his San Francisco studio. More of those pics, the interview, list of dates, and new song stream, below...
by Andrew Sacher
Touche Amore @ LPR - 2/26/14 (via Robert Dodd)
Touche Amore and mewithoutYou brought their co-headlining tour to NYC for a sold out show at Le Poisson Rouge last night (2/26). This leg of the tour (which continues through early March), was opened by Caravels, whose blend of post-rock atmospherics, subtle technical tendencies and a vocalist who shouts more so than screams was an excellent primer for what was to come. The second band, Seahaven, wasn't totally my thing, but still a solid opening set.
mewithoutYou may not be as popular as they once were (the crowd seemed much crazier for Touche Amore), but they're veterans of the sound that bands like TA (and especially La Dispute) are currently doing, and they came off as such last night. As a live band, it feels like they only keep getting better, and their increasingly diverse discography gives them more and more to offer each time. We got "Bullet to Binary," a classic from their post-hardcore era, plus a handful of favorites from their beloved mid-period like "Nice and Blue Pt. 2," "Torches Together" and "A Glass Can Only Spill What It Contains." But the newer material from 2012's unfairly overlooked Ten Stories shines as well, and sounds great mixed with the old.
Touche Amore took the stage after them, opening with the drum-less melancholy of "Praise / Love," and as soon as that song turned into "Anyone / Anything," LPR became a madhouse. Like any good Touche Amore show, the mosh pits hardly ever waned, and you could hear the crowd shouting over Jeremy Bolm at just about any given moment. Ending the show with "Honest Sleep" into "Condolences" gave him a final one-two punch of I-don't-even-need-my-mic songs, and on the other side of that spectrum, adding the post-rock build of "Non Fiction" into the set gave the band a chance to show they can be as powerful instrumentally as they are lyrically. Not a dull moment in their entire 20+ song set.
The Touche Amore/mewithoutYou tour continues for another week, and if you'll be in Austin for SXSW, you can catch Touche at the BrooklynVegan showcase on Wednesday, March 12 at Red 7 with Against Me!, The Front Bottoms, Cheap Girls, Harvey Sid Fisher and more.
Check out Touche Amore and mewithoutYou's setlists from the LPR show, with a video of mwY playing "Bullet to Binary," below...
Gainesville screamo newcomers Frameworks mentioned they'd be releasing their debut album on Topshelf Records, and they've just officially announced that it's called Loom and will be out on April 29 via their new label home. Check out the album's teaser video which features shots of the band in the studio and a clip of new music, below.
As we announced yesterday, Frameworks will play the 2014 BrooklynVegan official nighttime SXSW showcase on Wednesday, March 12 at Red 7 Patio (611 E. 7th St. in Austin, TX) with Against Me!, Touche Amore, The Front Bottoms, Cheap Girls, Placeholder and Harvey Sid Fisher. Badges and wristbands welcome.
Against Me! / flyer / Touche Amore
The 2014 BrooklynVegan official nighttime SXSW showcase will take place on Wednesday, March 12 at Red 7 Patio (611 E. 7th St. in Austin, TX). SXSW badges are welcome, and we'll also have some general admission tickets for sale at the door (come early!).
For this year, we kept things on the punky side with a 1 AM headlining set from the reinvigorated punk vets Against Me! who are back with a new lineup and album this year. However, it starts rather un-punk (or maybe the most punk?) with a 7:30 PM opening very special guest set from occasional actor and cult singer Harvey Sid Fisher, who is probably best known for his album Astrology Songs in which he performs songs about the 12 signs of the Zodiac. He'll be performing all twelve! The album came out on Gregg Turkington aka Neil Hamburger's Amarillo Records, which also makes Harvey labelmates with Anton LaVey. Don't be late!
After him, the distortion pedals get turned on for Lancaster, PA fuzz rockers Placeholder, followed by Gainesville post-hardcore newcomers Frameworks (whose debut LP is due out on Topshelf this year), then '90s alt-rock radio lovers Cheap Girls (who just announced a new album), NJ's wordy folk punks The Front Bottoms, and finally post-hardcore rippers Touche Amore taking the stage at midnight right before Against Me!. That's the flyer above.
The Red 7 show is one of a few BrooklynVegan events at SXSW this year. Our metal blog Invisible Oranges will be announcing a metal showcase soon. We also have three day parties at Red 7 (3/13-15, lineups coming soon), and a BrooklynVegan/BV Austin-curated portion of the Flatstock stage on 3/15 with Austin artists Mother Falcon, S U R V I V E, and Bronze Whale.
Hope to see you there!
by Andrew Sacher and Bill Pearis
We've done some year-end lists in the past at BrooklynVegan, though you might notice that we're not the most consistent with them. This is for a few reasons, one being that with the varying tastes of our current group of contributors, we could never in a million years agree on a top 10, let alone an Album of the Year. So in an attempt to get around that obstacle, this year two BV writers, Bill Pearis and Andrew Sacher, have made individual lists of the albums they loved most which we think each represent different parts of 2013 here at BrooklynVegan. They both made top 20s (and only had two albums in common), with commentary on the top 10, and you can check out both lists below...
by Andrew Sacher
It's been a big year for Touche Amore, who released a potential hardcore classic with Is Survived By. Now they've announced a 2014 North American tour, which they're co-headlining with fellow lyrical post-hardcore band mewithoutYou, whose prime-era albums Catch For Us The Foxes and Brother, Sister share producer Brad Wood with Is Survived By. Seahaven is opening, and the first leg will also include openers Drug Church, while the second leg will also include Caravels. The run with Caravels hits NYC on February 26 at Le Poisson Rouge. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (12/13) at 10 AM. All dates are listed, along with the tour flyer, below.
Though Drug Church won't be on the NYC date, vocalist Patrick Kindlon's other band Self Defense Family will be here when their tour with Pity Sex hits Santos on January 19 with Ovlov and Heroes of Modern Earth. Tickets for that show are still available.
All Touche Amore/mewithoutYou dates are listed, along with some videos, below...
by Andrew Sacher
Title Fight at Europa in 2012 (more by Rebecca Reed)
"Emo is a style of rock music characterized by melodic musicianship and expressive, often confessional lyrics. It originated in the mid-1980s hardcore punk movement of Washington, D.C., where it was known as "emotional hardcore" or "emocore" and pioneered by bands such as Rites of Spring and Embrace." [Wikipedia]If you've been closely following along with the blogosphere lately, you've probably noticed talk, especially amongst the indie rock community, about an "emo revival." Some sites, like Stereogum and Buzzfeed, have directly written about the "revival," whereas others like Pitchfork -- a site which has previously derided even the most classic albums of the genre -- didn't explicitly call it a revival, but offered a valuable spotlight on the modern emo scene. NPR weighed in, asking, "Is Emo Back?," but still some, like Noisey, claim, "There's no emo revival, you just stopped paying attention." A writer at NYU Local agrees. Meanwhile, bloggers and local papers, like OC Weekly and Baltimore Sun, are running with this.
All of this attention is only doing the genre a service. As Chad Jewett points out on Half Cloth, "How did you find out about Diary, person born in 1988? Because you would have to have been preternaturally cool to have picked up on it in 1994 when it came out." In other words, maybe in 19 years someone will hear Is Survived By, and they'll thank their lucky stars for all these listicles and thinkpieces that pointed out that record and so many other great records. But does the increased attention for these bands (many of which have been around for years) in indie rock circles warrant calling it a revival? Maybe it's that people are realizing these "emo revival" bands have a lot more in common with indie rock bands than a lot of people thought.
For one reason or another (perhaps because kids who grew up on Drive-Thru Records comps are forming bands now), emo has been sneaking its way more and more into accepted indie rock. Nobody was screaming "emo revival" when Japandroids went from a well-liked indie rock band to one of the genre's most beloved with 2012's Celebration Rock, a record full of heart-wrenching lyrics, youthful spirit, and fast, catchy power chords -- all common descriptors of emo. (Not to mention it was released by Polyvinyl Records, home to such emo classics as Frame and Canvas, American Football, Look Now Look Again, and more.) Likewise, no one said it when Cloud Nothings' 2012 LP Attack On Memory got tons of love from indie rock critics upon its release and went on to appear in multiple year-end lists, including Pitchfork, Stereogum, Spin, and more. It's an indie record, but one with a heavy resemblance to early Sunny Day Real Estate and similarly emo lyrical themes ("I miss you 'cause I like damage / I need something I can hurt").
Japandroids at Bonnaroo 2013 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
These records had all too much common with the great emo releases of that year, including Title Fight's Floral Green and Joyce Manor's Of All Things I Will Soon Grow Tired. Both of those albums embraced raw production, honest, innovative music, and were not geared towards a radio-pop fanbase, but yet were largely ignored in indie rock circles. It's essentially what indie rock is, and a far cry from what pop bands tagged as emo like Panic at the Disco, Hawthorne Heights, and Senses Fail were doing. Those pop-emo bands, and countless others, dominated rock radio, MTV, and a major part of the conversation on emo during the mid-2000s, scaring away many indie rock fans and critics from the genre all together. The two weren't always enemies. Emo kids and indie rock kids both hold equal claim to bands like Sunny Day Real Estate, Cursive, Bright Eyes, Death Cab for Cutie, Rilo Kiley, and others. Perhaps part of the split was because it was somehow cooler to look like this than like this.
Title Fight, who didn't appear on Pitchfork until the-year-of-the-revival despite notable album releases in 2011 & 2012, cited many of the same influences as modern indie rock bands for Floral Green, including Sebadoh, Hum, Nirvana, and Sonic Youth. And Joyce Manor did the same, namedropping Guided by Voices and Weezer's Pinkerton in interviews. It makes sense that fans who latched on to Japandroids/Cloud Nothings would gravitate towards Title Fight/Joyce Manor. So what makes them so different? Ian Cohen says in his 2013 Pitchfork review of the new Title Fight EP, "You're more likely to hear electro-pop or major-label bands such as Chvrches or Haim called "indie" more often than Title Fight. How is that? Is it because most of time, genre tags are used to described the perceived fanbase than the music itself?"
The question Ian poses in that review seems to be a huge factor in the need some have to cite an "emo revival." If Japandroids and Cloud Nothings are your kind of indie rock, or punkier indie-approved bands like Titus Andronicus and Fucked Up, or classic bands like Dinosaur Jr, Built To Spill, Superchunk, and Archers of Loaf, chances are you're going to (or already do) find a lot to like in Title Fight, Joyce Manor, Pity Sex (essentially a shoegaze band), Cloakroom (sludgy slowcore), Placeholder (fuzz rock/'90s-style indie/etc), and many more. And as certain people, like Jaded Punk Dan Ozzi in his Noisey article pointed out, these bands didn't come out of nowhere. This comparatively underground scene of emo has been co-existing with the mall-emo scene for years, and perhaps it's getting called a "revival" because of the sudden interest for it from a fanbase who, for the most part, previously ignored anything associated with that three-letter word.
I do think, to some extent, that at one point the "emo revival" tag meant something. Now-defunct bands like Algernon Cadwallader (who have a new band, Dogs On Acid, in the works and whose guitarist Joe Reinhart is now a sometimes-member of Hop Along) and Snowing/Street Smart Cyclist (whose singer John Galm now fronts the excellent garage punk band Slow Warm Death) revived a very specific type of emo in the late 2000s -- the math rock-influenced kind done (perhaps most notably) in the mid-'90s by Cap'n Jazz. That sound, which some people bafflingly call "twinklecore," can be heard in late-2000s bands Castevet, Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate), 1994!, and bands who rose more recently, including The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die, Dads, and Prawn. But that's only a small sect of the genre as a whole. I recently said that Brand New's 2006 LP The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me is my favorite emo album since Diary, and Devil and God only came out two years before Algernon's first, 1994!'s first, and La Dispute's first. Thursday's final record, No Devolucion, came out in 2011 and in my opinion it's one of their best. The genre had a rough period as it entered the mainstream (but so did so many other genres) but it never vanished.
Touche Amore at Riot Fest 2013 (more by Kirstie Shanley)
Why is it all happening now though? Perhaps with "indie rock's tuneful death rattle" and "the decline of guitar rock" in effect, with artists like Haim, Chvrches, Icona Pop, The 1975, and Lorde currently dominating the indie rock discussion, there are still people yearning for raw, scrappy guitar rock with DIY ethics and an alternative mindset. And a lot of us are finding that those cravings are satisfied by this large, thriving group of "emo" bands. In his "indie rock death rattle" piece on Grantland, Steven Hyden welcomed indie turning pop as a natural progression, but did point out some may be seeking something less pleasant, which he finds in Touche Amore's latest LP, Is Survived By.
Touche's record, another getting extra attention now thanks to the "revival," is one of the finest releases of this year, and embodies so many of the key factors of "underground rock." Its aggression is raw and unpolished, but it's melodically and dynamically exploring new ground for rock music. Lyrically, the themes won't be unfamiliar to indie rockers, exploring existential uncertainties ("To swallow mortality is enough of a task / And leaving your mark is just too much to ask") that aren't too different from a band like Titus Andronicus ("Okay, I think by now we've established everything is inherently worthless / And there's nothing in the universe with any kind of objective purpose"). They also happen to be musically and communally connected to post-hardcore bands like Converge and Thursday who have influenced forward-thinking underground rock bands, just as Pavement and the Pixies have.
At The Drive-In at Coachella 2012 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
It's not only newer bands though. Many now broken-up bands have been reuniting, and getting welcomed back very warmly. It's no surprise that the much-loved At the Drive-In caused excitement when they reunited, but in case there was any doubt how large that excitement would be in indie circles: They got huge spots on major indie rock festivals like Lollapalooza and Coachella, and the reunion also got notable coverage on many indie sites, including Pitchfork, who weren't too kind to their classic Relationship of Command LP upon its release but scored it significantly higher upon its April 2013 reissue.
The fact that the idea of "indie rock" is so vague and encompasses so many things, many of which are not "indie" or "rock," is a great thing, but there are still kids who can't settle for Chvrches when a past generation got Fugazi. And luckily those kids won't have to worry. In addition to many of the bands mentioned above, there's Speedy Ortiz, Waxahatchee, Swearin', A Great Big Pile of Leaves, Courtesy Drop, Little Big League, Frameworks, Calculator, Iron Chic, Big Eyes, Single Mothers, Sundials, Aye Nako, Worriers, Caravels, Pianos Become the Teeth and so many more that all satisfy a similar craving, whether or not you call them "emo," "indie," or a "revival."
Touche Amore / United Nations @ 285 Kent - 10/9/13
Geoff Rickly took a break during United Nations' ripping set at 285 Kent last night (10/9) to dedicate a song to Touché Amoré, the band they were opening for. He said it's amazing and inspiring that in 2013 a hardcore band plays with as much heart as they do, and he's right. Watching the sea of people fight their way to the front of the oversold scrum just to scream a single lyric within earshot of TA frontman Jeremy Bolm was a life-affirming experience in itself, to say nothing of how life-affirming it was for everyone in the crowd to be seeing this band in the flesh.
Touché Amoré doesn't traffic in trends. Despite being lumped in with a "New Wave of Emo" that's reared its head this year on the blogosphere, the Los Angeles five-piece is purely itself, not just some bullet-point on a list. Their brand of hardcore is simultaneously shimmering and abrasive, and Bolm's self-obsessed, wounded lyrics and vocals help set them apart from the bands they're ostensibly sharing a movement with. They are emo in the sense that they emote, but they have a lot more in common with Converge or Moss Icon than, say, The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die. (Not throwing shade; TWIABP is a very good band as well.)
Their gorgeous cacophony comes off live exactly how you'd expect. At 285 Kent, they played basically every fan favorite, which is to say, they played basically every song they've ever written. The energy level in the crowd barely wavered from set opener "Just Exist" from this year's Is Survived By to closer "Honest Sleep" and unplanned encore song "Face Ghost." Bolm's vocals were mixed high - the only way to mix a Touché Amoré show - but he was matched in volume and intensity by a chorus of fans on nearly every line. Of course, the vocals wouldn't be nearly as effective if they weren't anchored by the incredible guitar tones of Clayton Stevens and Nick Steinhardt, sturdy bass lines from Tyler Kirby and some surprisingly off-kilter drum work by the tireless Elliot Babin. Despite Bolm being the center of attention, it's impossible to forget that you're watching a band up there.
Still, lyrics won the day, and I imagine most people in attendance will remember the show for how loudly the crowd was able to sing along. It was a little strange to see the words that Bolm wrote proudly, selfishly for and about himself being screamed by hundreds of people who felt they were written for them. It's amazing that 285 Kent wasn't sucked into a vortex of self, but somehow, amid all the shouted, narcissistic neuroses, a sense of community was forged. That's the gift Touché Amoré gives: laying bare their insecurities so we can indulge our egos. Hardcore is weird, but man, hardcore is awesome.
The show, which we at BrooklynVegan presented, was a headlining stop for Touché in the midst of their tour with AFI which hits NYC tonight (10/10) for a sold-out show at Webster Hall. Like we said above, last night's show was opened by Geoff Rickly's band United Nations, in addition to Topshelf-signed screamo band The Saddest Landscape. Pictures of all three bands are int his post.
Speaking of Geoff Rickly, he just teamed up with a few members of Made Out of Babies to form the new band, Strangelight (also featuring members of Goes Cube and Red Sparowes), who released their debut EP, 9 Days, this week via Sacrament Music. You can stream the EP in full (via Noisey) along with more pictures from the 285 Kent show, below.
photos by Cory Dewald
The Replacements / Pixies
For a band that thrived on an anything-goes approach to performing, the Riot Fest show ran with relative precision, with barely a pause between songs. Despite tossing the clock, [Paul] Westerberg and the boys finished precisely at 10:30 p.m. Everything on the set list was at least 23 years old. But the 25-song, 75-minute performance brimmed with energy and heart. Nostalgia it was, but there was nothing formulaic or phoned-in about it.Chicago's Riot Fest (the second of three Riot Fests happening this year) wrapped up this past Sunday (9/15) with sets from The Replacements, Pixies, Rocket From the Crypt, Bob Mould, Mission of Burma, Quicksand, Touche Amore, Peelander-Z, Brand New, Best Coast and more. One set of pictures from that day is in this post, and a second set with more bands
Looking like thrift-shop dandies with their splashy mismatched clothes and spiky hair, Westerberg and Stinson cracked jokes, blew a few lyrics, and laughed like they were just banging out tunes in their garage. They stayed loose but kept the pace brisk, with plenty of help from Freese's dynamic drumming and the bow-tied Minehan's concise lead guitar.
Westerberg's voice sounded appropriately rough and gritty on the opening "Takin' a Ride," the first song on the first Replacements album, "Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take out the Trash" (1981), and the sneering "Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out." But he also found the tenderness in a song ("Androgynous") that rhymes "kewpie dolls" with "urine stalls." [Chicago Tribune]
by Andrew Sacher
As discussed, Touche Amore's third full length, Is Survived By comes out next week (9/24) via Deathwish Inc. The breakneck rhythms and impassioned screams of their last two records are still fully intact, but on Is Survived By, the band expand their sound, adding underlying post rock atmospheres, a fuller, more dynamically diverse sound, and longer (but not dragging) songs. It's their most ambitious and best record yet, and a strong argument that honest, emotional punk isn't going anywhere. The band are currently streaming the album in full ahead of its release, and you can listen over at Pitchfork.
Touche Amore's tour with AFI hits NYC for a sold-out show at Webster Hall on October 10, and a day earlier, they headline a sold-out BV-presented show at 285 Kent (10/19) with Geoff Rickly's United Nations and The Saddest Landscape.
Two songs from the record and TA's list of tour dates below...
by Andrew Sacher
Upstate, NY hardcore band Drug Church is the new-ish project of Self Defense Family/End Of a Year frontman Patrick Kindlon, who released their debut full length, Paul Walker, earlier this summer via No Sleep. The album followed a 2012 EP on the same label, and a 7" from this past June that came out via Secret Voice, the Deathwish imprint run by Touche Amore frontman Jeremy Bolm. Drug Church doesn't stray too far from the straightahead hardcore/punk of Kindlon's other project, but they're both good, so who's complaining? Stream Paul Walker and a track from their 7" below.
This fall, Drug Church will be heading out on a tour with NJ emo duo Dads (whose Pretty Good EP is out now on 6131). That tour comes to NYC for a TBA Brooklyn show on October 17, which is during CMJ. All dates are listed, along with the tour flyer, below.
Meanwhile, after that tour, Self Defense Family will head out on a European tour with Touche Amore and Touche drummer Elliot Babin's melodic punk solo project Dad Punchers, who recently released his These Times Weren't Made For You 7" via Secret Voice (stream it in full below).
UPDATE: Since we last spoke, a Self Defense Family NYC show has also been announced, happening on September 29 at Saint Vitus with Deep Pockets and a special guest. Tickets for that show are on sale now.
Touche Amore also have US dates, including a run with AFI that hits NYC on October 10 at Webster Hall (sold out) and a BV-presented headlining show at 285 Kent (10/9) a day earlier with Geoff Rickly's band United Nations and The Saddest Landscape (also sold out). Updated tour dates are listed below.
In other Secret Voice news, the label also recently released a solo cassette by Single Mothers frontman Andrew Thomson, titled Honesty Is A Confidence Problem. It's got a real Craig-Finn-meets-acoustic-emo vibe, it's really good, and it can be streamed below. Single Mothers will be in NYC when their tour with A Wilhelm Scream hits The Studio at Webster Hall on November 15 with Lugosi and The Reveling. Tickets for that show are still available.
All lists of dates, and all streams, below...
by Andrew Sacher
Touche Amore at House of Vans in 2011 (more by Fred Pessaro // BBG)
As discussed, LA's Touche Amore are heading out on a tour supporting AFI this year, which hits NYC on October 10 at Webster Hall. That show has long sold out, but we at BrooklynVegan are thrilled to announce that they'll headline a BV-presented show in Brooklyn at 285 Kent (10/9) a day earlier. Support at the show comes from Touche collaborator Geoff Rickly's (of Thursday) screamo supergroup United Nations, and another likeminded group The Saddest Landscape. $12 Tickets for the all ages show are on sale now.
Touche Amore are set to release their anticipated third album, Is Survived By, on September 24 via Deathwish, and it's their strongest and most complete work in an already very-solid discography. You've heard the opening track, "Just Exist" and a live version of "DNA," and they've now released another track from the album, "Harbor." Give it a listen over at Rolling Stone.
The Saddest Landscape's most recent release is the Exit Wounded EP, which came out via Topshelf earlier this year. Stream that, along with streams from the other two bands, and the updated list of Touche Amore tour dates, below...