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Pianos Become the Teeth have been making some noise within the new wave of screamo, a genre that is frequently misunderstood and often misidentified. Some recent groups have emerged with similar sounds influenced by post-rock and permeated with thoughtful lyrics. Touché Amoré, La Dispute and Defeater are just a few of such bands. Earlier in 2014, Pianos made a significant change to their sound by releasing an album that contained no screaming and further emphasized their post-rock tendencies. The change in sound was a gutsy one, but seemed rewarded with approval from their ever-growing fan base.
Opening the night at the Tralf Music Hall was the Florida punk band Frameworks. Frontman Luke Pate stood facing the side of the stage, rarely looking towards the crowd. Pate and the rest of the group blazed through their half-hour set before leaving the stage. Crowd reaction was positive as I overheard many individuals unfamiliar with the group decide to purchase their merchandise and speak highly of the performance.
Following Frameworks was the less aggressive, more atmospheric Gates. Fresh off the release of their third album Bloom the group effectively carved out a well-developed sound. Intricate guitar work layered over thick sonic backdrops gave the band a nearly hypnotic sound that would quickly give way to heavier sections of composition. The band served as a great Segway between Framework’s hyper aggressive sound and Pianos Become the Teeth’s recently realized sound.
Pianos Become the Teeth began their set. The group used very minimal lighting, just a few ground based shop lights. Playing a variety of songs from their discography. The newer songs from the group’s newest release Keep You were easy to identify due to the aforementioned change of style. Midway through the set Kyle Durfey, vocalist for the band, told the crowd that he grew up in the upstate NY region and that returning always made him a little nostalgic. Despite the recent release of Keep You the crowd knew the songs surprisingly well. Singles such as “Repine,” “Late Lives,” and “April” received more response from the crowd than others. Classic songs from the group’s discography such as “I’ll Be Damned” and “I’ll Get By” were performed and enjoyed by those in attendance, though it was clear that Pianos were out to showcase their new music. While the newer songs lacked Kyle’s screams, they did not lack the band’s passion. From beginning to end, there was no shortage of zeal from the group.