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

There’s moments throughout life that people will go through that are extremely trying and the outcome can show the world someone’s resolve and true character. Some of these moments are a result of choices made while others are purely the hand we’re dealt. When it comes to the latter, these tend to be most difficult and unfortunate as they generally revolve around experiences that take a huge emotional toll, from heartbreak to untimely death. These moments are what post hardcore outfit Too Close To Touch have built their message on as their debut album, Nerve Endings, was a charged, emotional release for vocalist Keaton Pierce. With their sophomore album, Haven’t Been Myself, the outfit once again found themselves in a dark place thematically. The underlying hope from fans is that it stacks up to their debut — which it does so extremely well, if not ultimately surpassing it.

[tw-toggle title=”About Too Close To Touch”]
Genre: Post Hardcore
Label: Epitaph Records
Release: September 23, 2016
Connect: Facebook | Twitter
Purchase: iTunes | Google PlayPhysical
[/tw-toggle]

For those unfamiliar, the subject of the message behind Haven’t Been Myself is Keaton Pierce’s little sister and her unfortunate death. This led to a thematically charged record that revolves around the exploration of grief and the process of returning to who someone was before the emotional, life altering experience they underwent. To deliver this message, Too Close To Touch created a rather tough album to write, but one that is ultimately cathartic to the band with hopes of helping others throughout their own struggles. Enhancing this ideology, the outfit brings the message to listeners’ attention immediately with the album opener “Sympathy”, which revolves around the emptiness behind people’s condolences. This is expounded further by the records lead single, “What I Wish I Could Forget”, as it delves into the desire to erase specific memories, ultimately hoping to find peace in those particular situations. The most powerful moment on the record though lives on the last track, “Eiley”, which serves as a detailed image of the resulting impact that her death had on people.

Too Close To Touch – “What I Wish I Could Forget”

Listen to the full album: http://bit.ly/2cifcTj “What I Wish I Could Forget” by Too Close To Touch from the album ‘Haven’t Been Myself,’ available now Order at http://haventbeenmyself.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tooclosetotouch Twitter: https://twitter.com/TooCloseToTouch Instagram: http://instagram.com/tooclosetotouchband Directed by Brad Golowin Lyrics Take every memory ingrained in me. Erase it from my thoughts so I can sleep.

Musically, the outfits signature building of heavy tension is output once again as somber guitar work and a heavy, yet soft vocal approach takes precedence before exploding into a huge sound with massive choruses. This is the approach that Too Close To Touch have crafted to perfection throughout their brief, yet successful career thus far and yet again they deliver it in spades throughout the whole of Haven’t Been Myself as songs interweave throughout the record. Even with honing and perfecting their sound, the band also explores ambient soundscapes and R&B melodies as showcased in “The Art of Eye Contact’’. Furthermore, there’s a new level of emotion and grief on display during the albums closer “Eiley”, amplified by a more pronounced usage of screams and interchanging of moodier, ambient verses and heavy choruses. It’s these sparse, yet powerful stylistic moments that help truly set the record apart from its predecessor while still retaining the sound everyone fell in love with.

One of the bigger fears many had is that there would be disappointment after creating such an outstanding record with Nerve Endings, resulting in a true sophomore slump for Too Close To Touch. That fear can be thrown out the window because when Haven’t Been Myself is at its worst, it’s a continuation of their debut and at its best, it’s the next step in the band’s progression both sonically and lyrically. What the record may lack in true stand out singles, it makes up for in cohesion as the albums thematic approach weaves throughout each track, interlocking them together resulting in a truly special album. If Nerve Endings was just a formal introduction of what the band was capable of, then Haven’t Been Myself cements the idea that it’s only a matter of time before Too Close To Touch are known as part of the scene’s very best.

 

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