Baltimore indie post-hardcore five-piece Pianos Become The Teeth’s fourth full-length, Wait For Love, is a firm statement as to how they currently perceive themselves. Littered with evocative instrumentals and vocalist Kyle Durfey’s driving vocals, it’s nonetheless without the definition or consistency of their first record in particular.
When Pianos Become The Teeth released the excellent first single from their new record ‘’Charisma’’, a track that epitomises the potential highs the band’s cleaner, more polished sound can reach, there was a hope that Wait For Love could repeat the irregular highs of Keep You with more consistency. Second single, ‘’Bitter Red’’, promised less, though the synergy between Durfey’s righteous performance and the evocative instrumentation further legitimised the feeling the new record could be the moment their less hostile approach really comes into its own.
Wait For Love is certainly dense, beautifully performed and, as you’d expect from a Pianos Become The Teeth record, highly emotive. Durfey’s vocals stretch and impress throughout, giving tracks such as ‘’Manilla’’ a real sense of emotional clarity and bolster the performances around him. ‘’Bloody Sweet’’, one of Wait For Love’s highlights, is a considered number that draws the most parallels to peers such as La Dispute, Zac Sewell’s rough bass lines giving the track a sense of menace and reflective of how well, at times, the band have transitioned from the screamo of old to the much cleaner outfit of today.
Where the transition is still clearly an ongoing process however is the way in which the record still fails to deliver the bite that Old Pride in particular had in abundance. The development of tension on Wait For Love, notably on tracks such as ‘’Dry Spells’’, has nothing on the cataclysmic experience of ‘’Cripples Don’t Shiver’’, and Durfey’s vocals occasionally come across as overt and a little too polished, dampening the emotional sincerity in his delivery.
There is a real beauty to the compositions on show here, the closer ‘’Blue’’ in particular a heart-wrenching tale of fatherhood expertly orchestrated, and the intricacy to the music on Wait In Love is quite stunning. There’s no doubt that Pianos Become The Teeth are fully aware of where they want to be; all that’s left is a little more refinement and consistency to get them to that point.