For the most part, Touching Base with a Chainsaw delivers the goods. Pay particular attention to tracks "Pretty for Nostalgia," "Arbitrary," "Pull the Trigger," and their near eight minute epic "The Airport Symphonies." Then, as the album begins to wind down, they offer up a solo piano instrumental called "Two Years," it is a soft, contemplative piece which works well as chill down from the rage that has preceded it.
Musically, the band is led by the twin guitars of co-founder Ricky Vazquez and Ian Archer, as they team for some great melodies and very heavy power driven sections. Behind them are bassist Isaih Herevia, and drummer Matt Williams. They are young, and all show the skills to take Of Hearts and Shadows to the next level.
Touching Base with a Chainsaw is a strong debut for the emocore act out of San Diego, CA. I will say, I am not a big fan of the band name, sounds a little too, uh, screamo for me. Also, if I may comment on the album cover, the band's name is a little too hard to make out, it doesn't pop enough. I'd recommend a different font, or at least a different color, so I am not left starring at it trying to figure out who it is.
Bottomline. Definitely worth your time. This is an good album, no doubt about it. It is a band that does not seem content to follow what has been done, but tries to bring a little more to the table. It will be interesting to see how the develop over their next couple of albums. Of Hearts and Shadows is definitely a band to keep an eye on.