Too Close to Touch
Nerve Endings


4.4
superb

Review

by DaveyBoy EMERITUS
March 25th, 2015 | 250 replies


Release Date: 2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Debut albums don’t often come as fully realized as ‘Nerve Endings’.

Debut albums don’t often come as fully realized as ‘Nerve Endings’. Having only released two previous EPs (one under the band-name Cascades), Lexington rockers Too Close To Touch haven’t taken at all long to nail down their sound, tinker with it a little and then go damn close to perfecting it. Without over-embellishing it at all, you won’t find too many albums in the quintet’s chosen genre that betters the quality, consistency and diversity of ‘Nerve Endings’. Narrowing the nominations down to only debut LPs reduces the competition even further! This is a feat made all the more impressive by the fact that the “chosen genre” referred to lies somewhere in-between melodic post-hardcore and emotional alt-rock; an arguably dated sound which is usually far from unique and often falls foul to formula.

In truth, Too Close To Touch do not reinvent the wheel when it comes to that sound… They have just meticulously composed this eleven track offering to the point where most nit-picking weaknesses are already inherent within the genre. From driving opener ‘Someday’ all the way through to epic closer ‘Until I Collapse’, the energetic quintet create a cohesive journey through the catchy, aggressive and atmospheric aspects of the band’s preferred style of music. Instrumentally, Too Close To Touch also work as a cohesive whole, with the dual guitar attack of Thomas Kidd and Mason Marble showing sufficient technical proficiency, while hard-hitting drummer Kenneth Downey also receives many moments to shine. If anything, the band could work on their use of keys and synths, which - while value-adding - could be a little subtler on occasions.

Bearing a striking resemblance – and a soaring voice to match – to We Are The Ocean’s Liam Cromby, lead vocalist Keaton Pierce is unsurprisingly mixed to the forefront on most tunes here. His silky smooth vocals are highlighted on the infectiously hooky singles ‘Pretty Little Thing’, ‘Perfect World ‘ and ‘The Deep End’, while his ability to get raw and intense works its way onto most songs, with only the title track seeing Pierce lapse into over-singing. Furthermore, two guest vocal spots are extremely well-featured, with neither Sleeping With Sirens’ Kellin Quinn or The Word Alive’s Telle Smith being over-stated or dominant. Lyrics, for the most part, are above-average, with the abandonment anthem that is ‘Hell To Pay’ probably the pick of the bunch. Most importantly, the lyrics are always delivered with thorough conviction by the talented Pierce.

Not only is the extremely consistent ‘Nerve Endings’ without an obvious lowlight, but each listener’s individual highlights will purely be a matter of personal choice. This is a fact which becomes all the more apparent, as the more layered and atmospheric sounding latter half of the LP progresses; revealing an enhancing replay value that is certain to please even the most hardened of cynics. Tellingly, it all comes together on exceptional closer ‘Until I Collapse’, which sees strings and choral backing vocals added to the mix to provide what is perhaps the perfect embodiment of the “catchy, but aggressive” dichotomy that this superb and dynamic album has to offer.

Recommended Tracks: Perfect World, Until I Collapse, Hell To Pay, The Deep End & Pretty Little Thing.




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user ratings (146)
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
DaveyBoy
Emeritus
March 25th 2015


22487 Comments

Album Rating: 4.4

Not hiding the fact that this is the type of music that I enjoy… But yeah, potential AOTY contender for me right here!

‘Hell To Pay’ is soundcloud’ed above and here are my 4 other highlights on YT:

Perfect World: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NH3fmw1aSAk

The Deep End: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egavdbb9NN0

Pretty Little Thing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x20a3n__zuk

Until I Collapse: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QGhU5lp-zM



Archelirion
March 25th 2015


5901 Comments


Recommended by reviewer: Fightstar - Be Human

This got me to check out Perfect World before even reading the review. It doesn't sound too bad, sort of thing that would satisfy an itch if nothing else.

DaveyBoy
Emeritus
March 25th 2015


22487 Comments

Album Rating: 4.4

Damn, I miss Fightstar. Don't be expecting as many orchestral arrangements here (I think 4 tracks have strings to some degree), but the general sound isn't too different. Also, 'Perfect World' could put people off as it's one of the poppiest tunes on the LP.



I keep thinking that this band is called Too Close To Call.

Archelirion
March 25th 2015


5901 Comments


I miss Fightstar as well; they did a show in London last month that I was desperate to go to but I had an exam at just the wrong time so I couldn't get up there. I got that impression that Perfect World was a poppy one so I'll definitely be checking the rest of the album out tomorrow (as I should really be sleeping by now haha).

(I feel bad commenting about a staff review, but in the 2nd paragraph 'cohesive' is used twice really closely together and it sounds weird. It was a great read though :P)

DaveyBoy
Emeritus
March 25th 2015


22487 Comments

Album Rating: 4.4

Ooh, does that mean that a comeback might be on the menu.



I'm always open to constructive criticism. The use of the word "cohesive" twice in 2 sentences was intended as a link between album flow & musicianship. I actually had the musicianship sentences later in the review originally, so kinda had to link them to not make the transition sound too abrupt.

Archelirion
March 25th 2015


5901 Comments


Yeah, Charlie's mentioned a few times that there will be a new album by the end of this year. To say I'm excited would be an understatement.

Oh OK, yeah I can see why you'd do that now. I'd also missed out the 'also' when reading it - twice - which is probably why it read so clunkily to me.

DaveyBoy
Emeritus
March 25th 2015


22487 Comments

Album Rating: 4.4

I didn't know that re: Fightstar. Add me to the list of excited.



And yes, I was gonna mention the "also".



Now go to sleep Aaron.

Archelirion
March 25th 2015


5901 Comments


Yes Davey.

rolereprisal
March 25th 2015


117 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

was waiting for somebody to review this.

totally agree and great review

DaveyBoy
Emeritus
March 25th 2015


22487 Comments

Album Rating: 4.4

And I was waiting for one of the people on this site that had even heard of this band.



Great to see that you agree with my thoughts. I liked the EP a lot, but thought they may struggle to fill out an LP. As it turns out, they did it with ease and it actually suited them to allow the band to stretch out and try a few things on the album's back-end.

dmp3131
March 25th 2015


1353 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album rules. Listened to it a couple times last night. Pretty Little Thing is sick.

DaveyBoy
Emeritus
March 25th 2015


22487 Comments

Album Rating: 4.4

Another on the bandwagon. Jump on people... There's lots of room.



'Pretty Little Thing' is probably the most immediate tune here, so keep listening to the album dmp and watch other tracks (surprisingly) grow on you.

IncurablyInane
March 25th 2015


50 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Gonna check this real quick, seems right up my alley. Great review as well. Maybe it's just me, but in last sent., 2nd para., the phrase "value-adding" just sounds like awkward. I think it'd read better if it was just "adding value". Just something that kinda stuck out to me as I was reading.



Edit: Also, can anyone tell me why my profile picture isn't showing up on my comments?

DaveyBoy
Emeritus
March 25th 2015


22487 Comments

Album Rating: 4.4

Thanks IncurablyInane. You might be right about value-adding vs adding value. I'd say either works in the situation. Let me think about it.



Oh, and your profile pic & avatar are 2 different things. Go to the avatar section of your profile (I forget where that actually is... Maybe in the forums).



I kind of know what you mean tresm, but obviously don't feel that he goes out of his vocal range necessarily. For the most part, his screams work well to add emphasis imo.



IncurablyInane
March 25th 2015


50 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, they both work, it just felt awkward seeing it written that way. Really diggin what I've heard so far

DaveyBoy
Emeritus
March 25th 2015


22487 Comments

Album Rating: 4.4

I think it's the double use of hyphens that looks awkward.



Glad to hear you're liking this so far.

TheSupernatural
March 25th 2015


2048 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Heh I was checking this album out before even seeing this review. That never happens.



I actually like this a lot, given what it is. High-pitched post-hardcore often sounds really samey but this is well done. Feeling a 4/5

DaveyBoy
Emeritus
March 25th 2015


22487 Comments

Album Rating: 4.4

Well, it just did Alex.



I wouldn't necessarily call his voice "high-pitched", but I know what you mean. And yes, as I mention in the review, the formula can be followed too closely in this genre, yet there's something different about these guys.

Skoop
March 25th 2015


2147 Comments


I love your extensive recs, got me to check this out.

mazalthan
March 25th 2015


88 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Definitely a great debut, especially coming off of just those two EPs. Glad this got a good review.



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