Staff Pick: Touché Amoré
Melodic hardcore band Touché Amoré flashes its fleshy, fractured heart on this year'sStage Four, which finds frontman Jeremy Bolm confronting the death of his mother, who passed away from cancer in 2014 at the age of 69. "I didn't know just what to say/While watching you wither away," he howls on the album opening "Flowers and You."
Judging by the outpouring captured here, Bolm has since rediscovered his words, which tumble forth in a messy, cathartic torrent on regret-filled turns like "Eight Seconds" ("Made the call and stared at my feet/She passed away about an hour ago/When you were onstage living the dream") and the surging "Water Damage," where the frontman surveys the emotional landscape and surmises that, no, he's actually not OK.
Throughout, Bolm comes across as emotionally and physically ravaged, his hoarse, shouted vocals making it sound as though he recorded his takes after spending a series of sleepless nights in the hospital waiting room. Fortunately, a degree of relief arrives in the form of "Skyscraper," a duet with singer-songwriter Julien Baker where Bolm lifts his eyes to the heavens, surmising, "You live there, under the lights." And also here on this record.
Ace of Cups
7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 16
2619 N. High St., Old North
ALSO PLAYING: Tiny Moving Parts, Culture Abuse