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Album Review: Keep You by Pianos Become The Teeth

With the release of Pianos Become The Teeth’s third album Keep You the band’s progression and stylistic departure from the screamo genre is both welcomed and astounding. With 2009s Old Pride and 2011s The Lack Long After you got the feeling Pianos Become The Teeth were a band shoehorning themselves into a genre and trying to fit in alongside the likes of La Dispute, Defeater and Touche Amore. Now that feeling is gone completely, you have an assured and accomplished album that spans the realms of post-rock and melodic hardcore.

You can’t emphasise the change in sound enough. What was once a band treading water, you now have a band that have turned their very being on its head and released an excellent and expansive album. Before, they could be considered pretty niche, with Keep You they will appeal to a wider and more discernible audience. Gone are the screamed vocals from Kyle Durfey, replaced with a sung vocal wrought with passion and angst.

Granted there are still some big loud chaotic moments. ‘Lesions’ sounds massive, but this time it’s refined and interspersed in-between delicate and tender moments.  ‘Old Jaw’ is one of the more gentle moments, it almost comes off sounding like an American version of Idlewild – that’s a real mark of the shift of styles – it comes off beautifully. The bass throbs in the background and while the aggression may have gone the drumming is still as thunderous and time shifting as it always was. There’s a wonderful driving riff around the three minute mark before Durfey’s superb vocal swirls over the remaining minute.

The change in style in mirrored in the vocal of Durfey, it takes a more prominent place on Keep You and rightly so. On ‘Repine’ his range and powerful vocal is displayed perfectly. Delicate vocals are mixed with a rasping impassioned moments; with it you’ll be given an opportunity to sing-a-long. It’s a brilliant track and one of several album highlights. ‘Late Lives’ contains a melody of the highest quality and the track as whole grows on you with each listen.

‘Enamor Me’ is one of the heavier tracks of the album, the hook is wonderful – you’ll be belting out the chorus in no time. If the album didn’t flow so well and wasn’t such a perfect collection of songs it would be the standout track, here it fits perfect as another highpoint. ‘The Queen’ has a heartbreaking quality to it before the epic album closer ‘Say Nothing’ rounds off with aplomb.

Keep You is a fantastic album on first listen, yet it will grow on you with every listen engraining itself into your subconscious. It’s a shift in style that will certainly alienate some old fans, yet the growth and progression is so much that the gains will outweigh those losses. Pianos Become The Teeth have developed into a band that are no longer restrained by the hardcore scene and both encapsulate and go beyond melodic hardcore, alt rock and post-rock.

AD Rating 9/10


2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Alt Dialogue’s Top 50 Albums of 2014 | Alt Dialogue
  2. Album Review: Wait For Love by Pianos Become The Teeth – Alt Dialogue

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