By Adam Williams in Arts & Entertainment
November 3, 2011
“The Lack Long After” by post hardcore band Pianos Become the Teeth might be one of the best album releases of the year. The raw power of abstract poetry used as lead singer Kyle Durfey’s lyrics expressed through throat tearing vocals deliver a message of lost hope, hoping and future hope.
Confused? You shouldn’t be; here’s why.
The album is essentially a concept of Durfey’s father’s death a few years back and the emotional roller-coaster he and his family have gone through. A lot like their previous record, “Old Pride,” the instrumentation is a mix of hard driving rock/metal music infused with post rock.
Slow, melodic guitar chords underlying pulsing lead guitar and bass lines, mixed with ferocious drum patterns is the method of every song, and not once does it get old.
Songs like “I’ll Be Damned,” “Good Times,” and “Sunsetting” are perfect examples of the equation mentioned above, while others like “Such Confidence” and “Spine,” the standout track, are focused more on Dunfey’s vocal presentation, which is extremely taxing on the throat and lungs. After two songs, you’re shot; this coming from a vocalist of this genre.
Another aspect, very intriguing to this record, is that Durfey tries his hand at melodic singing, something completely avoided in Pianos Become the Teeth’s previous albums.
Getting back to “Spine”, this song will absolutely tear your heart out and step on it, then pick it up and nurture it back to health. This song will make you angry, make you cry, make you relieved and make you happy all in four minutes and fifteen seconds. Roller-coaster indeed.
The lyricism is phenomenal “Spine,” as well. With lines like, “I watched you shake, I watched our hearts break/ I couldn’t wrap my fingers around your spine and shake it loose from the bone/ I couldn’t fight against the loss/ I never set fire to your bed/ I never burnt the bed sores/ I never ate the flame, or drank the sweat, but if it burns me up I won’t char half as much as I’ll keep warm,” and “The first Christmas we suffered through/ room 211, kissing your head/ the last look into your eyes, not having the words to say thank you, say good bye,” will eat at your heart, especially if you’ve been in a position where you are seeing a loved one slowly deteriorate and you know you can’t do anything about it. For those fortunate enough to avoid this, congratulations.
The only flaw with this album is the length. It boasts eight tracks, just like “Old Pride” did, but the difference is that this CD is better crafted, better written, and so much more meaningful. You never want this album to stop. You feel Durfey’s pain and his struggle as he speaks about watching his father slowly pass away in front of him, praying to a God that’s not answering him and then dealing with the fact that he’s gone and life goes on. Hope lost (father passing), hoping (salvation), and future hope (life goes on); it all makes sense now and that’s the beauty in this record.
Everything is perfect and broken. Everything is beautiful and mangled. Everything is life and death. Everything goes in circles and comes full circle, just like the roller-coaster of Durfey and the fellow members of Pianos Become the Teeth.
This CD is a must buy and that can’t be stressed enough.
Bands similar to Pianos Become The Teeth: La Dispute, The Saddest Landscape, Touche Amore, mewithoutYou, I Would Set Myself On Fire For You, Suis La Lune.