Pianos Become the Teeth Keep Fans Excited with New Record

Andrew Lagambina

Change can be a good thing, and in this case, it’s for the better. The sonic progress made on this record is something that absolutely no one could have seen coming.

Pianos Become The Teeth is an American screamo band with post-rock influences that formed in 2006 (Photo obtained via Facebook)
Pianos Become The Teeth is an American screamo band with post-rock influences that formed in 2006 (Photo obtained via Facebook)

If “I’ll Get By” off of 2011’s The Lack Long After was a punch in the gut, get prepared to be knocked on your ass. Trading in the desperate screams and yelps of his previous work, Kyle Durfey focuses his energies on a more melodic, but no less heart-wrenching, delivery, previously heard on PBTT’s contribution to their split 7” with Touché Amoré.

This new technique effectively conveys the sadness found within the lyrics. With verses like “Wear me out/Like a resistant heart in absence/Like a sister who’s finally had it/Like a room left open/Just for being kept like some lonely facet,” there’s no denying how dark and yet beautifully written this record is.

This is what “emo” music is, and while I realize that is a three-letter word among many groups, I dare you to find a record more emotive than Keep You.

Production-wise, Will Yip showcases just how masterful he can be, managing to make the band sound as spacious and dreamy as any post-rock band, but as urgent and present as contemporaries such as Defeater or Balance and Composure. In fact, a comparison to B&C would not be misplaced.

Instrumentally, this record has many similarities to The Things We Think We’re Missing, but there is more focus on more ambient guitars and driving bass lines as opposed to TTWTWM’s wall of sound.

The rhythm section is held down by David Haik, who uses the drums as punctuation for these songs, rather than being the main driving force behind them. Obviously the main feature of the record is Durfey’s newfound melodies, and there’s not much more to say besides how amazing they truly are.

In fact, I can’t really find anything to criticize about the overall sound of Keep You. I’d probably go so far as to call it perfect.

I’ve been a huge fan of Pianos Become the Teeth since I was introduced to The Lack Long After and fell in love with the sadness portrayed in those songs. After repeated listens, however, I found the record to be a touch exhausting, almost as if listening was a workout.

“Keep You,” on the other hand, sounds fresh and new and will stay that way for a long time. The last time I had feelings this strong about a record so immediately was my first full listen to The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me (yup, it’s that good).

If you’ve been looking for the perfect fall record, or if you’re hesitant about what record should be sitting proudly on the top of your album of the year list, look no further. What this band has created is a masterpiece, and don’t let anyone tell you differently.