Amidst the battering punk drumbeats and heavy guitar riffs, Jeremy Bolm’s emotional lyrics would almost be masked by his screaming vocals and the volume of his band mates… if it wasn’t for the crowd religiously chanting every word back to him. ‘I feel what’s best for everyone, is to forget about me when I’m gone’, the opening lines to ‘Pathfinder’ (their opening number) are spat back at Touché Amoré with as much intensity as Bolm projects, with the jostling crowded punching the air in time to every strum on the guitar. At The Cockpit, Touché Amoré played a fast-moving and energetic set, clearly pleasing their dedicated group of die-hard fans who used every song as an opportunity to crowdsurf over a worryingly sparse front section of the crowd. The energy turns up a notch with the opening chords to ‘The Great Repetition’, which seems to turf out the weak as smaller members of the crowd are knocked to the floor, as well as ‘~’ (pronounced ‘Tilde’), which sees young hardcore fans throwing their bodies as well as their voices in the direction of the stage, with someone awkwardly getting their foot caught in Bolms mic lead as he flngs his body onto the people below.
As they have been prominent players in the post-hardcore scene for a few years, their new album ‘Is Survived By’ shows a more melodic side to Touché Amoré; songs are uncharacteristically of an average length, whereas tracks from their previous albums rarely run over 2 minutes. This penchant for short songs means the set list moves rapidly, and they sometimes cover around 20 songs within a 45-minute set. New tracks such as ‘DNA’ and ‘Is Survived By’ have notably slower more tuneful sections. The highlight of their new album is arguably ‘Non Fiction’, with its teasingly minimal and lengthy intro, before Bolm bursts into the poetic verse: ‘Every moment can’t remain and every life won’t stay the same. With time comes a layer of rust and our bones will turn to dust.’ Touché Amoré also preview their song from a new split EP with similar band Pianos Become The Teeth, ‘Gravity, Metaphorically’.
The mosh pit grows steadily larger, before the last song ‘Honest Sleep’ , when Bolm grabs the extra mic stand and holds it into the audience, with a fan helping him out with the lines: ‘I’m losing sleep, I’m friends’. Although the gig – as with many hardcore shows – almost seems a fashion show with brands and band names blaring from every t-shirt and cap, there is no doubt that these people have come to see Touché Amoré not only to enjoy the music with like-minded hardcore fans, but to have something to shout about, and it is really the mirrored energy of the fans and Bolm that makesTouché Amoré such a great band to see live.