When: Wed., Nov. 23, 7 p.m. 2011
When I saw Touche Amore opening for Converge, Coalesce, and Black Breath at Bottom Lounge in May 2010, the LA hardcore four-piece seemed a bit too wide-eyed to be comfortable. They did an admirable job warming up an early-evening, all-ages crowd, but the vibe was very much "Oh shit, this is kind of rad—we're opening for Converge and Coalesce!" Front man Jeremy Bolm even had some special moments of his very own during Converge's set, stage diving, freaking out in the pit, and going red in the face screaming along with Jacob Bannon. That "Fuck yeah!" enthusiasm is what makes Touche Amore seem so genuine, though. The youthful, angsty spirit on the recent Parting the Sea Between Brightness and Me (Deathwish Inc.) reminds me of defunct Iowa powerhouse Modern Life Is War, a band that similarly combined old-school hardcore heart with a no-frills punk approach. The songs on Parting the Sea are short and fast, with structures that shoot off in all kinds of directions, and despite the absence of modern-day signifiers like double-bass-drum action and chug-chug breakdowns the album is hardcore through and through, animated by the usual growing pains ("These days I just try to keep to myself / All aware that I've lost touch with everyone else") and a whole lot of discontent. —Kevin Warwick Pianos Become the Teeth and Seahaven open.
Price: $12, $10 in advance