Sometimes we find inspiration in the toughest of times; the sophomore album from Too Close To Touch is a real testament to this. With its mixture of fast drumming, heavy riffs and inspired lyrics about heartbreak, hate and moving on Haven’t Been My Self is a gem of hard rock, reflecting the band’s darkly depressive state of mind at the time of recording.
“Erase it from my thoughts so I can sleep, I’d give anything to feel no pain” sings front man Keaton Pierce on recent single, ‘What I Wish I Could Forget’. Lyrics that reveal his dark thoughts and feelings during the making of this album. It’s a track which contains a mixture high reaching vocals, strong meaningful lyrics, hardcore riffs and the combination of fast breakdowns with a slow chorus. It all perfectly accompanies the dark, emotional lyrical themes.
That formula of head banging, rhythmic tunes and raw emotion runs throughout the album; ‘Crooked Smile’, ’Sympathy’ and album highlight ‘For Your Sake’ especially, focusing on themes of hate and misfortune.
However, it’s far from a sonic copy and paste on every track. The album drives through changes throughout, with its diverse collection of sounds, including the slower tempo’s in ‘The Art of Eye Contact’. It’s a track that showcases the band’s use of electronic sounds, tempo changes, and evolving vocals.
The only downfall is that the album pushes its cathartic sound a bit too much. So much so that it has little lyrical diversity. Additionally, the album doesn’t flow like it should, which is down to the muddled track order which creates more of a hardcore mixtape than an album.
Fortunately for TCTT, it’s a great sounding mixtape and you can’t knock them for being influenced by that mix of feelings and personal circumstances at the time of recording. Haven’t Been My Self is a clear labour of love (and hate) yet the liveliness of this album shows, even though tough and hard, it must have been fun album to write and record.
Haven’t Been Myself is out now via Epitaph.