Album Review: Too Close To Touch – ‘Haven’t Been Myself’

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Coming off their summer stint on Vans Warped Tour this past summer, Too Close To Touch is dropping their follow up full length to Nerve Endings on Epitaph Records entitled Haven’t Been Myself.

Not only does the band have their successful Warped stint under their belt, they also have the APMA Skully for Best Underground Band of 2016 sitting on their shelf. The band recorded the album with Erik Ron (Issues, Set It Off) in his North Hollywood studio. Vocalist Keaton Pierce explains the process behind the album saying, “I was in a really dark place and wanted to make [the album] as cathartic as possible. This album was a pretty tough one to write, but we all gave it everything we have and didn’t hold back. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Personally discovering the band this past summer, I was instantly in love with their alt-rock stylings that are complimented by screams in all the right places as well as some of the catchiest guitar work I’ve ever heard- if you don’t find yourself wanting to dance and bounce around to the opening riffs on the album’s second track “Crooked Smile” there is probably something wrong. Not to mention the chorus of “Crooked Smile” invokes that type of fist-pumping rock anthem feel that is so hard to pull off correctly without feeling cheesy and, believe me, Too Close to Touch are lactose intolerant when it comes to the cheese factor.

A few songs later they do an about turn and pull something completely different out of their hats with “The Art of Eye Contact”. They seamlessly transfer from a fist-pumping, anthem feel to an atmospheric sound that capitalizes on Pierce’s vocals, similar to a fusion of rock and r ’n’ b. With a song like this halfway through their album, Too Close To Touch shows that they’re flexible and comfortable in a variety of genres, which keeps them from being pigeonholed in today’s industry.

Closing out the album with “Eiley”, the quintet has one of the most emotional songs I’ve heard to date. The entire album navigates the process and journey Pierce went through when his family unexpectedly and tragically lost his three-year-old sister. “Eiley” is the finale of this cathartic epic, with Pierce’s heart and gut wrenching vocals. If the chorus of “She was mine, mine you can’t deny, three years is too quick to die. Take me instead… I’m worthless to the world, you’re innocent and pure” doesn’t have you sobbing already then around 2:45 in the song, Pierce’s haunting vocals that crescendo into heartrending screams will emotionally destroy you. You can feel the emotion and pain behind these lyrics hit you like a brick through your speakers.

It seems that Too Close To Touch has found their signature sound and is quickly making their mark in the scene. This entire album is a cathartic journey that keeps your attention throughout all eleven songs. This Lexington, Kentucky quintet is proving that they are a force to be reckoned with.

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