Top 5: Touche Amore/La Dispute

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Touché Amoré / La Dispute
Searching For a Pulse / The Worth of the World
No Sleep
Street: 07.27

When the Internet shit-talking regarding new bands reaches unprecedented levels, it usually means they’re about to get huge. As part of the weirdly wide-reaching post-hardcore and emo revival of the last few years, Touché Amoré and La Dispute have become the regular  targets  of many a cro-magnon keyboard attack in recent months, and both seem poised for greatness. Both bands have carved out unique sonic niches—La Dispute takes cues from the lyrical and sonic intricacy of mewithoutYou and the desperate energy of early Thursday, while Touché Amoré combines traditional screamo with the semi-melodic hardcore of Modern Life is War. If you like any of the bands already mentioned (even if you dislike some of the others), you need to hear this. Each band starts their respective side of the split with a faster track and follows it with a slow, angry scorcher about how shitty the world around us is and how it fucks all of us up—not exactly uplifting, happy-time music. The highlight of Touché Amoré’s opening track “I’ll Get My Just Deserve,” is the appearance of La Dispute vocalist Jordan Dreyer (both Dreyer and TA vocalist Jeremy Bolm contribute to all four tracks), not because of the contrast in vocal style, but because of how well Dreyer’s punchy vocals and verbose lyrics mix with Bolm’s rich but succinct shrieks. It’s in the slower songs that this split really shines, as it allows each band to get nice and depressing. Even though La Dispute’s “Why It Scares Me” effortlessly transitions from subtle, minimalistic guitarwork to an explosive full band attack, it feels like Dreyer’s voice is the song’s only instrument.  Both bands are tight and feature solid musicians, but the vocalists are clearly the driving force behind every song. Even at a paltry nine minutes, this split destroys nearly every other musical release of 2010. –Ricky Vigil