A horrible hack

Pianos Become The Teeth

Keep You

Year Released: 2014
Format: LP
Label: Epitaph Records
 
Reviewed by Andrew Revis on Oct 31, 2014
Five years ago Pianos Become The Teeth released their ferocious debut album Old Pride. It's a really great record. Theirs was a unique brand of progressive hardcore: the screams sounded sincere, the breakdowns didn't sound contrived, the tracks were long but easily digestible, the drums were a spectacular clusterfuck. And those lyrics! 'Infants and whales, infants and whales, infants and whales! They still have the holes there!' 'Excuse you, behoove you to live a spider's life, and clean up nice.' Alright pal, I don't know what you're on about but I'm gonna shout along anyway, 'cos this is ruddy marvellous!

Second album The Lack Long After wasn't quite so raw, but wasn't far off. Some shifts in tone, more exemplary musicianship, more pain and anguish. And such was the quality of the songs they could just about get away with lyrics as emo as, 'But for now it's catch my tears, catch my breath' and 'I'm talking to my own soul, I bottle these potent thoughts.' This was some of the wordiest hardcore, even by screamo's wordy standards, as well as some of the most moving, poetic and heartfelt - certainly in the passages on that second album addressing singer Kyle Durfey's father's death.

But what the shit is this?! Keep You, the band's third album, is some sort of soft rock catastrophe. Gone is the bombast and the grandeur; these tracks rumble along, ho-hum ho-hum, guitars weave and chop, drums now noteworthy only for their mundanity. It's all so one-paced, so monotonous, so incidental. Durfey no longer screams, he sings all soft and gentle, a croon, and yet he sounds exhausted - and it's exhausting listening to him. His frail, breathless, trembling voice makes him sound concust. Either that or he has emphysema. Consequently, when he sings lines like 'Your wick won't burn away...' on 'Repine', or 'There's something to be said for being spoken for...' on 'The Queen', it grates somewhat.

Frankly, I'm bored off my tits listening to this limp, dull record, and saddened that the band's best days are already well and truly behind them. No doubt many people will like this, fans of that blandcore dickrock band Staind, for instance - they sound pretty similar. Call me a meathead, a simpleton, a charlatan - whatever, this is very poor.


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