East Bay California’s Troubled Coast has reared its bold and boisterous head with their latest release, third full-length offering Awake And Empty. Troubled Coast has made grand efforts in cementing their name within the pavestone of modern greats within the frontiers of the independent scene. First inflicting the barbaric assault with which we’ve come to know as their debut 100 Miles From Home - a collection of 10 songs coated in the most absolute untapped and ruckus sentiments. Since then like all aging legends, time has exacerbated the power and artistry of the band, to where we stand now with Awake And Empty, fifth official release, second release on Pure Noise Records.
Since Letters Troubled Coast have displayed a notable shift in sound gravitating towards a progressive and more melodic employment of elements within Hardcore. Troubled Coast are a figurehead for the integrity that is often imitated with Post-Hardcore and merely polish the notion that is apropos for them with Awake and Empty.
The record opens with the exhilarating tremolo ringing of Brother, setting the blaze of incendiary flames in motion - engulfing the listener within the first brief initial moments as throat vocalist Mike Scornaienchi strikes the blank palette of the listeners mind with his words of conviction – "I’ve been thinking of you since July and I’m feeling less in love..." along with co-vocalist Cory Bardwell’s subtle and solemn harmony.
There are great moments on the record where the two complement each other in a haunting and stirring way, being a vital component on the record. The two surpass the clichéd restrains of the throat vocalist and clean vocalist unit within the genre and validates it with poise, offering the counterparts to a grieving and anxious narrative that is encapsulating. From standout track Lonely States with its majestic percussive presence and drone of melody to Sister where the bitterness lingers with "Listening to the things you said, piercing together the things you never did" before straying into anthem territory prompting a picture of a choral barrage. The other stand-out track is closer 1967 where it swings with a relentlessness to pierce the listener with its last words of "It’s not enough to choose a side..." with an overbearing angst with each repetition.
There are monumental moments on the record as we are prompted with how a very much imitated genre can be revitalized. Awake And Empty is progressive while affectionately gives a nod to greats such as Thrice’s Vheissu with gratitude as it supports the heights which it soars from. The mixture of its bold guitar tones and intricate instrumentation is impalpable at best. Awake And Empty is an eager presence which is worthy of any warranted attention.
6. Missoula/Big Sur
10. Lonely States
Written by Aaron Akeredolu