REVIEW: Pianos Become The Teeth – The Lack Long After

Pianos Become The Teeth

Artist: Pianos Become The Teeth
Album: The Lack Long After
Genre: Rock/Screamo/Post-Rock
Label: Topshelf Record

With their previous release, Old Pride, Baltimore’s Pianos Become The Teeth created one of the best (but forgotten) records of 2010. Now as the band head into 2012, the follow-up, The Lack Long After doesn’t quite have the same zest and longevity as their last release.

On Old Pride, the quintet showcased a compelling blend of post-hardcore, screamo and (in places) post-rock. With The Lack Long After lean more towards the post-hardcore side yet they subtly keep that textured sound that made the band appealing first time around. 

“I’ll Be Damned” kicks the record off at full steam with ferocious drums and messy guitars complimenting Kyle Durfey’s chaotic-yet-structured screams. It’s a style that connects together well; for the band and the listener, whilst the more melodic approach at the tracks conclusion reassures the possibility of Pianos Become The Teeth being an all-out screamo outfit.

From the early stages of The Lack Long After, the bands production has improved and therefore gives them a more concise and well-rounded sound. On “Good Times,” a somewhat delicate opening builds up to a passionate chorus that is filled heavy driving guitars and an emotionally charged vocals from Durfey, something that is consistent throughout, and as “Shared Bodies shows, the band are equally passionate and emotionally invested in what they do, as the track sounds (semi-)apocalyptic with heavy, over-powering guitars, blistering drums and frantic vocals.

Next up is “Such Confidence,” a compelling, brittle number that nicely builds up to a powerful and natural pay-off that plain and simply works and feels right. Vocally Durfey is intense and fiery, whilst the band musically are powerful, structured and dynamic.

“Liquid Courage” follows on and seeps into a soft, compelling but sharp number with David Haik’s drum work become the centre piece momentarily before the band as a whole burst into the driving number that is “Spine.” Although on the surface it sounds like your usual post-hardcore/screamo track, the bands sensible approach towards structure, along with the tighter production, gives the track more appeal and overall attention.

By this point, it is clear Pianos Become The Teeth are more than confident in their abilities and with Sunsetting” they are able to keep up the fierce momentum that carries this record along from start to finish. With its sliding and screeching guitars serving as a backdrop to Haik’s blistering drum work and Durfey’s familiar but suitable aggressive vocals.

Although The Lack Long After doesn’t quite have the same lasting impact as its predecessor, there are moments that are equally potent and satisfying, and thankfully Pianos Become The Teeth produce one of their finest moments to date with the closing “I’ll Get By,”  A light, atmospheric opening breezily gives way to twinkling guitars that helpless draw you in. Whilst Durfey, as always, is emotionally invested lyrically; Such a light body, such a quiet gait leaving behind the weight of the world.”  Further on he contributes in the intriguing and infatuating line of “I want you to know, I’m learning patience against my will./I want you to know, I’ll get by, always barely scraping with hust a hunger, with just a heart apart. When mixed up with the bands radiant but powerful sound, it brings some form of intense beauty to what Pianos Become The Teeth do; potent, dynamic and (at times) inspiring.

Where The Lack Long After suffers for immediacy is made by the bands overall momentum and musical growth. Because underneath the heavy drums and screaming vocals, is a band who are lyrically intriguing and passionate about their craft and the songs they produce. Emotionally powerful, both in terms of sound and lyrics.

SCORE: 8/10
Review written by: Sean Reid

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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