Audio Mixer: Erik Ron.
Recording information: Grey Area Studios, North Hollywood, CA.
Arrangers: Erik Ron; Too Close to Touch.
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. Listeners looking for something in the realm the 1975, Emarosa, I Prevail or, to a lesser extent, a darker Sleeping with Sirens, will find a lot to be excited about here, but anybody looking for something that pushes the post-hardcore envelope a bit will probably find themselves wishing that they had walked into a different Hot Topic. ~ James Christopher Monger