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’.
It may be arguable that the post-hardcore resurgence of the mid 00's has come and gone, but Too Close To Touch breathe new life into a sound that can often sound stale, proving that it's still possible to create dynamic music within the genre. The band aren't as formulaic as their contemporaries, eschewing the clichéd combination of overt aggression paired with sugary sweet pop hooks in favour of focusing their energy almost completely on the latter and using heavier sections as an occasional highlight. Vocalist Keaton Pierce is front and centre in the mix — as is to be expected with a pop-oriented band — but it doesn't distract the listener from the instrumental arrangement at all.
The debut album from the Lexington, Kentucky-based outfit, the aptly named Nerve Endings is as emotionally frayed as it is shot through with moments of soaring, alt-rock grandeur. Too Close Too Touch is the epitome of an Epitaph band, all angsty, confessional lyrics and soaring choruses, and while standout tracks like "Someday," "Hell to Pay," and "Pretty Little Thing" do extremely little to elevate the genre, they nevertheless pound the post-hardcore pulpit with purpose, deftly weaving in every genre trope with unbridled professionalism. Vocalist Keaton Pierce houses a perfectly tuned siren of a voice that can go from nervy croon to full-on roar in a manner of seconds, and the band is as tight as it is willing to season the pot with the occasional offbeat flourish -- the title track begins as an impossibly dense slab of metal-infused shoegaze before finding more familiar footing.