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Too Close To Touch – Haven’t Been Myself

Too Close To Touch – Haven’t Been Myself

Genre: post-hardcore
Label: Epitaph
Released: September 23, 2016

Kentucky-based post-hardcore group Too Close To Touch is set to release their second full-length album, ‘Haven’t Been Myself’ this week. Haven’t Been Myself proved that Nerve Endings, their first full-length album, was just a glimpse of the talent these guys possess. Frontman Keaton Pierce brings uniquely melodic vocals to his raw, emotional lyrics. In this release, he and his bandmates, guitarists Mason Marble and Thomas Kidd, bassist Travis Moore, and drummer Kenneth Downey, expand upon that sound with such passion and ferocity that words hardly do it justice.

This year has been a successful year for them, receiving nominations for ‘Best Underground Band’ at the AP Music Awards – and the release of Haven’t Been Myself will only propel them farther.

This album navigates Pierce’s stages of grief after tragically losing his younger sister, as well as other relatable situations like love, loss, and deception. It’s emotionally charged and heart wrenching. Each anthem cuts through to the core, some differently than others.

The first track, Sympathy, describes the surreal feeling that envelops us when tragedy strike and the emptiness in our culture’s traditions in dealing with such. “Don’t you dare say I’m gonna make it – because I don’t believe a word you say. There’s a sickness living inside me – you can spare me all your sympathy…”

The ambient, melancholy instrumentals and (purposefully) exhausted and honestly brutal vocals – come from a such dark, personal place, and also resonate with the struggles of anxiety and depression.

Track two, ‘Crooked Smile’ was released earlier as a single and is an intense, pop-punk infused anthem that is satisfyingly heavy, yet pop enough to sing along to.

An outstanding factor throughout the entire album, and even so with their first album, is the passion behind every lyric and every chord. Every aspect of their sound is so calculated, engaging and personal.

Closing track, ‘Eiley,’ is absolutely heartbreaking – the intimate and callous lyrics paired with Pierce’s audible sobs as he relives that tragedy are hauntingly captivating. “She was mine, mine you can’t deny, three years is too quick to die…She was mine, she was mine, what did we do for you to take her from our lives?”

Haven’t Been Myself flows steadily throughout and it seems they have perfected and augmented their signature sound. The alternation of the mood of each track combined with heavy choruses and softer melodies separate them from other artists in the genre. Overall, this album was powerful and remarkably cathartic. It is also a statement that TCTT is a force to be reckoned with. Pop D gives this album 5 out of 5 stars.

Songs to listen to: The entire album – Sympathy, Crooked Smile, What I Wish I Could Forget, Modern Love Affair, Eiley