Pianos refine what they started in their previous album in Wait For Love but it still isn’t hitting the right notes
Pianos Become The Teeth are one of my favourite bands. Their first two albums, Old Pride and The Lack Long After, are some of the best of what Post-Hardcore has to offer. Then came Keep You. It was a far cry from previous work. The once frenzied band had become tame. Loud, sharp noise had been replaced with a steady calm.
So it comes as no surprise that their 4th album, Wait For Love, persists with the same approach. They stick to creating atmosphere through subtlety as opposed to aggression and have managed to refine their new sound somewhat. There were some inconsistencies in Keep You, so it’s good to see the band are finding their fit in the new approach.
Change is essential for any band to survive, though it must be done with care. It should be a natural evolution while new ideas are integrated into the mix. Care must be taken by a band to retain their core sound.
But this just feels like the stereotypical Emo/Hardcore-band-gone-Indie approach. Some reverb here and there. It’s so cliché at this point. Bands like Turnover, Title Fight, and Movements have all done it now with mixed results. Though when they released Keep You it — at least sonically — fit with the theme of the album about moving on and letting go. But now it feels like the cracks are starting to show.
It wouldn’t be as much of a big deal to me if they tried to distinguish themselves. It all feels so forgettable. There is a great irony in changing your sound to stand out, but ending up less unique than before. There was a great template left behind with The Lack Long After for the band to develop themselves, but now it just feels like a wasted opportunity.
Bands like Touché Amoré showed us that you don’t have to lose that raw element to progress and evolve. Speaking of Touché, Wait For Love sounds like their previous album Stage Four, but with all the Hardcore elements stripped away.
I’m not saying that this change is all bad. There is that the core of old Pianos still there that pops up in surprising ways, but it’s so tucked away and hidden that it’s almost impossible to hear.
I wouldn’t by any means say it is a bad album. There is nothing truly awful about it and there are many good things to talk about. The production is splendid and manages to capture what they’re going for, and the performances are undoubtedly great. But it does all start to blur into one and ends up feeling quite forgettable.
Lyrically, Pianos shine as always. Vocalist Kyle Durfey stills paints vivid scenes with a poetic stroke as before. They do a great job of reflecting this new sound. Early Pianos work was way more upfront and honest, while here they help to paint a quiet mysticism. Though I can’t help but miss those passionate hard vocals. It feels like a key element is missing and, while Kyle does a decent job, he isn’t anywhere as interesting as he was before.
The more time I give this album and the more I think about it, the more I start to develop an appreciation for it. But it’s a struggle. Maybe I should be more open-minded and embrace the change. A lot of people did seem to love Keep You and if you are one of those people, then do listen to this album, as you’ll find lots to enjoy. I can only wish the best for Pianos in the future and hope they find success in their new sound, and I’ll always be grateful for those early works that captivated me so much.