Like any well-established band should, LA’s Touché Amoré have been experimenting and building upon their brand of emotionally heavy post-hardcore over the years, most noticeably heard on their last gut wrenching album Stage Four, released way back in 2016. I’m merely speculating here, but anyone who has listened to that record would agree that it’s completely understandable why the band may have foregone writing a new album and chosen to focus more on touring since then. Of course there was that B-side “Green”, the 2018 live recording from the Regent Theatre, and last year’s amazing re-recording of …To The Beat Of A Dead Horse. But as far as new material goes, the latest string of singles have been a long time coming.
It’s been a year to the day that Touché Amoré released their huge track “Deflector”. Unbeknown to us at the time, it’d be the first of a few tracks pulled from their long awaited fifth studio album Lament, dropping October 9th on Epitaph Records. To their fans’ excitement a little over a month ago, the band announced the upcoming record, produced by legendary Ross Robinson who famously discovered At The Drive-In, Glassjaw, Slipknot, and Limp Bizkit (I could go on).
Alongside that announcement we copped “Limelight”, which features a haunting guest performance from Andy Hull, Manchester Orchestra’s vocalist and long time friend of lead singer Jeremy Bolm. If that single and bomb drop didn’t excite you, you may as well stop reading now. With that being said, here is their their latest track “I’ll Be Your Host”.
Musically, “I’ll Be Your Host” is exactly what the band’s devoted fans have come to expect. The guitars are really piercing but equally harmonious, and the drums still drive the track with blinding crashes and pounding weight. The bass on this thing is so thick and warm, which is a quality I’ve always loved, acting as a counter to the track’s more aggressive sounds. The vocals are mixed really high and for good reason with Jeremy’s delivery sounding more weathered and harsh than usual. Ross Robinson’s production is obviously spectacular and really gives its listener the feeling they’re playing the song live for you in your living room or wherever it may be that you are.
Jeremy Bolm has long been one of my favourite post-hardcore vocalists and lyricists. His voice is always mixed high in these tracks because the band knows that the importance of these lyrics cannot be drowned out. The poetical content demands that you follow with sincere attention like you would with a great rap song; every single word and its delivery being extremely deliberate.
The subject matter isn’t as dense on this track as some of their earlier work, but the emotional weight is still there. The first verse addresses the reality of breast cancer and the nightmare it lays at the feet of those inflicted by it:
“Pin a pink ribbon on, to join the pain brigade. Our numbers are
impressive, I’m afraid. We know the end of every story, either one way or
another. There’s no fun in guessing, there’s no fun at all.”
Cancer was the core topic of their last album Stage Four, which detailed the heartbreaking personal hardship Jeremy went through before and after the loss of his mother. It still is one of my most adored records because it aided in helping me come to terms with grief and losses of my own.
“I’ll Be Your Host”‘s second verse highlights Jeremy’s confessions of anxiety and these overwhelming feelings he’s been attempting to cope with since his fans have been approaching him directly with their own stories of grief. He since has publicly stated that he “100% understands why they’re sharing it with me. It’s hard having to stomach tragic story after tragic story while sometimes being asked advice when I absolutely don’t have the answers.”
This single was released with a music video, but honestly with the attention to detail this band has always puts into their music, I’ve always been let down by the lack of effort they put into their videos – this one taking the cake for possibly worst music video of 2020. Don’t let that detract from the song itself though, and if you happen to be new to this band but enjoy this track, do not hesitate to tune out all distractions and really devote some serious time to absorbing all of Touché Amoré’s previous work.[Touche Amore photo credit: George Clarke]