A horrible hack

Troubled Coast

Awake and Empty

Year Released: 2012
Format: CD
Label: pure noise
 
Reviewed by James Williams on Feb 16, 2013
Awake and Empty is Troubled Coastís latest full length. For those who havenít heard Troubled Coast, they play modern melodic hardcore, infused with post-hardcore and pop-punk. Thereís a good mix of harshness and melody from the vocals. The guitars are where most of the melody comes from, which is where Troubled Coast show off their post-hardcore leanings. There are a number of spoken word passages throughout the album that will remind people of La Dispute. That comparison aside, there are a lot of different textures at play here, much more than on previous efforts. The song structures seem more straightforward, there are less off-kilter moments and the lyrics are audible even at their most harsh. One of my standout tracks is fourth song 1967, because I think it embodies TCís sound. They lean more towards pop-punk in the songís choruses, with some really nice melodies to counteract the hardcore vocals in the verses and with the instrumentation not being overdone, it sounds like a definite step forward for them. After 1967, that use melody becomes more regular. Missoula/ Big Sur is an epic song, with distant melodies sung over the top of driving guitars in the opening bars before some of the most emotive singing Iíve heard from Troubled Coast, period. The longer Awake and Empty goes on for, the more it sounds quite retro, harking back to some of the last 90s early 00s screamo, before it got overrun with bands using autotune and pointless electronics. Another thing worth mentioning is that Awake and Empty is over before you know it. The songs are kept to a sensible length and Troubled Coast donít throw in any overly indulgent moments, making this album nicely to the point. Awake and Empty is a great effort, which shows Troubled Coastís ability to step back and evolve into something more than just another post- hardcore band.


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