Review: Troubled Coast – Awake and Empty

Trying to take on the world from their homes in San Francisco, post-hardcore group Troubled Coast will be releasing “Awake and Empty” on October 9th through Pure Noise Records. To date, the band has released two full-lengths and two EP’s. What started as a band that drew most of its influences from their hardcore roots has evolved into something bigger.

Ever since the band released “Letters” last year, the band has tried to become more melodic and progressive, and that change is paying off. Not only have the instrumentals become more varied, the lyrical style of vocalist Mike Scornaienchi has, amidst the screaming, become cleaner as well as more meaningful, almost as if he is reciting poetry at times.

Opening this album is ‘Brother,’ a grand piece of musical writing, which sets the tone of what is to come. Massive drums share the stage with some impressive guitar work. Scornaienchi’s screams are countered with clean parts by both him and guitarist Cory Bardwell, creating a very haunting sound.

A few tracks down the line, the one that really stands out again is ‘1967,’ a song that recreates the haunting feeling of the intro. The song is very dynamic thanks to the vocals and Tahm Altemus’ drum-work. Together with ‘Winter’ and ‘Northwest,’ these are the best songs on the album, thanks to the tight production as well as the varied sound that is created. The connection between the vocals and instrumentals on this release is almost flawless.

The second half of the album is kicked off with ‘Missoula Big Sur,’ a track that once again kicks off huge, but switches it up near the end, when the vocals drop and the two guitarists are given their full creative room. Album closer ‘Lonely States’ is a more down-tempo track than the rest of the album and it is one of the tracks in which Scornaienchi’s poetic recital shines, especially during the verses. The album closes off just as it began, huge. Even though this band has been around for a while, they can still be considered a very young band and they have a very promising sound, delivering one of the best post-hardcore albums of 2012.

Tracklist – Awake and Empty

  1. Brother
  2. Winter
  3. Confidence
  4. 1967
  5. Northwest
  6. Missoula Big Sur
  7. Twenty
  8. Sister
  9. Signals
  10. Lonely States

Troubled Coast: Facebook / Bandcamp

Written by Richard Bos

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