Pianos Become The Teeth | Live Review

Pianos Become The Teeth @ The Exchange, Bristol. 27.01.14.

The band drift between old and new material leading the audience through a myriad of textures.

Tightly wound harmonies and resounding bass seem to open the doors of the Exchange for me as New Native carpet the stage with pensive noise. Pairing an emo-revival drawl with instrumentation akin to Biffy Clyro’s ‘Puzzle’, their set drifts between somber steps that quicken to a punk sprint with surprising efficiency. However, it’s a pace that unfortunately dissipates as Talons are passed the torch.

Channeling the spirit of The Pax Cecilia and Godspeed You! Black Emperor Talons’ six members buck to a cacophonous drone of their own making. Cinematic moments of inspiration shine through the din but are swamped in a terrible deluge of noise that offers no distinction to any instrument other than transforming the violin into a screeching banshee. It’s disheartening, had those moments been given the room they needed it would have been an engrossing performance.

The sour taste left in my mouth is quickly forgotten within seconds as Silver Snakes’ Alex Estrada unleashes a guttural roar on stage, I have to look twice to make sure it’s not Dustin Kensrue up there kick starting Thrice’s comeback. Raw and exposed, Silver Snakes deliver a penultimate act that traipses through a dirt-ridden bog, emerging in a wash of sweet dissonance and crushing crescendos. The crackle of battered and bruised instruments lingers like a fog on stage, pierced only as a tall figure clutches the microphone in his hand.

Any worries that Pianos Become The Teeth have lost their power on stage are instantly quelled with the first notes of ‘Ripple Water Shine’. Though restrained and lacking the abrasive intensity of their previous two records, Pianos’ prove they are still masters of highly charged emotive music; Durfey’s trembling vocals so vulnerable yet sure throughout.

The ‘Keep You’-heavy set list surrenders to ‘Old Pride’ and ‘The Lack Long After’, transforming the room from a gentle breeze to a maelstrom of noise. Both audience and band collapse into a furor as the powerful ‘Filial’ and ‘I’ll Be Damned’ careen through the room, leaving ‘Keep You’ in the dust.

The band continues to drift between old and new leading the audience through a myriad of textures and moods, wrapping the evening up with album closer ‘Say Nothing’. Those last 7 minutes cascade like waves, the solemn ending slowly coaxing me like the gentle touch of the shore. Despite feeling that tonight’s highlights rested on the shoulders of their older material, Pianos Become The Teeth have begun the UK leg of the tour with a confidence and sureness that will only grow with each passing date.

Check out ‘Repine’ right here:

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