Pianos Become The Teeth

'The Lack Long After'

(Topshelf records)

MARK: 87/100


The recent new offering from the curiously named act comprises 8 tracks striving to render all the Screamo, Emo and Post-hardcore and Post-rock genre facades darker and heavier than earlier, so as to make the album various and resisting to time proof.
While the inner artwork is based on grey colors, naturalistic, solitary and hazy landscapes in line with the Post/Indie rock proposed, the lyrics are similar to poems sometimes difficult to interpret; amongst these, my favorite is "Spine", dealing with the loss of a beloved person.
While music-wise the highlights are represented by the opening couple of aces of spades (the scorching and guitar-delayed "I'll Be Damned", chosen for a video, and "Good Times"), remarkable are the vocals during the whole work; yes, Screamo and Emo only, but exploiting all the possible nuances and usages ever. Instead of being perfect all the times, the 5-piece have decided to keep the first take in order to express a spontaneous outcome, even when the voice doesn't achieve its potential of power and control and thus goes off-pitch.
The patterns are often changing, yet the tracks remain catchy thanks to a good guitar chiselling - often Indie rock-like effected - alternating explosive moments with other atmospherical ones, with others in between, in which the music imitates a vulcano vomiting lava unrelentlessly or occasionally gets close to Folk rock persistent riffing, such as in "Shared Bodies"; on this occasion the drummer works industriously to deliver frantic drumming, even tho in all the record he is busy doing an excellent performance, helped by particularly capable microphoning before and during the recording.
Despite their short career, the five musicians show elevated songwriting ability, with brief decreases in intelligibility ("Such Confidence") and the listener's emotional involvement capacity ("Sunsetting"); luckily, the former is embellished by telluric drumming and granitic awesome bass lines, while the latter is saved by a marvellous and highly refined guitar solo.
Whereas some songs are partly blazing and partly controlled, "Liquid Courage" is completely slow and shows the band at their ease also with slow-tempos, recurring to semi-acoustic riffs and trillings of one guitar, with the other turning orchestral, thus anticipating the electric and tight part of "Spine".
The gentle and slow-paced Indie rock of "I'll Get by" is replaced by one of the Screamo climax in the central part of the song the outfit has accustomed us to. A perfect choice to conclude such an album keeping the cover before one's eyes; pretty original, but with all the reasons to be chosen: it portraits the feet of one of the musicians' father forced in bed and looking at a mirror not hanging on a wall, but in a middle poisition allowing to see the view outside.
I don't know if it's because I'm close to 40 or if it's simply a coincidence and only now am I receiving good records of this kind from musicians who are far from being teenagers but embrace an audience young and old, still what's sure is that in the last years I've started to like certain styles very much.
Going in detail, Pianos Become The Teeth have bettered their songs and made them heavier, but now there's something more to improve yet; it's about time they made an effort to create even more heterogeneous tracks of high quality avoiding clinkers.
That said, "The Lack Long After" is already a good goal achieved, much more then a fairly appreciable batch of tracks; the majority of the moments it makes you feel alive and it's shining strong, while on some occasions you feel the song is just a tiny bit hindered. In other words, if all the songs had been at the level of the first two I'd have had no doubts in describing it as a masterpiece, but the potential is plain, the caring and sophisticated recording and mastering give justice to all the instruments and the in-your-face vocals, with six of the eight songs definitely make it worth buying it, all the more for fans orphans of the best tunes from Touche Amore, La Dispute, Defeater, Mogwai, Explosions In The Sky, Make Do And Mend, City Of Caterpillar, Funeral Diner, This Will Destroy You, At The Drive In, Drive Like Jehu, Nozzle, Caravels, My Iron Lung, Such Gold, One Man Army, This Is The Life, Man Overboard, Balance And Composure, Moving Mountains, Hidden Hospitals, Troubled Coast, Seahaven, Thursday, Title Fight, Tigers Jaw and, to a lesser extent, some Dillinger Escape Plan and Junius.


Line-up on this record:
Kyle Durfey - v.
Michael York - g.
Chad Mcdonald - g.
David Haik - d.
Zac Sewell - b.

Baltimore, MD - USA
Official site:


-Demo (2007)
-Saltwater (EP - 2008)
-Pianos Become The Teeth/Ezra Joyce split (ltd. 7" - 2009)
-The Saddest Landcape/Pianos Become The Teeth split (4 versions - 2010)
-Old Pride (CD - 2010)
-The Lack Long After (CD - 2011)