Close To Home – Momentum (2012)

Close to Home is a post-hardcore band from Cincinnati, Ohio that has released one full-length album and three EPs since their inception in 2005. Their forthcoming release, Momentum, continues the band’s trend of blending several genres (mainly post-hardcore, pop punk, and metalcore) together to create one monstrous release. Momentum is set to release on July 31st via Artery Recordings/Razor & Tie.

In February of 2012, after the departure of their vocalist, Nick Stiens, Close to Home found a new vocalist in Andrew DeNeef. He fills the void very well and brings forth a bit of a different style at the same time. On their 2011 release entitled Never Back Down, the clean vocals had more of a pop punk vibe to them while the clean vocals put down by Andrew on Momentum have more of a post-hardcore feel to them. On the other hand, the screaming has remained consistent.

From start to finish, Momentum is an extremely fun listen, but there are a few tracks that stick out more than others. The album starts off slowly with a piano intro on “Make It Count”, but the next track picks up the pace, and from that point on, it’s an onslaught of massive tunes. “Don’t Waste Your Breath” contains almost everything that you could imagine; amazing guitar leads, one of the catchiest chorus’ on the album, and soothing piano bits. The fifth track, “Family Ties”, was uploaded by Close to Home’s label in June. It helped to build up a little more hype and it’s clear how it managed to do so. The chorus is very catchy (again), it sounds great instrumentally, the guest vocals from Dave Stephens and Kyle Pavone (We Came As Romans) fit perfectly, and the lyrics are great. For example, in the chorus, Andrew chimes out “Nothing is gonna stand in my way, I control my own fate”. If that’s not motivating, I’m not human. I must be amoeba conducting this review.

The other two tracks that seem to stand out are titled “Young & Stupid” and “Modern Warfare”. By now, it is more than clear that Close to Home strive to bring their fans heavy and catchy music very much like a band that I sometimes get them confused with, Close Your Eyes. Back to “Young & Stupid”, this track is one of the strongest mainly because of the lyrics and the chorus. Perhaps the strongest song on the album, the tenth track titled “Modern Warfare”, starts off with an incredible guitar intro. As soon as the vocals came in, I knew that “Modern Warfare” was going to be a personal favourite. I’m positive that the combination of incredible guitar leads, powerful screams, incredibly catchy cleans, and solid riffing will have a similar influence on other listeners as well.

Although it is nothing absolutely groundbreaking, Momentum is an incredible release. The instrumentation on Momentum borderlines good and great, but the vocals, both harsh and clean, more than make up for the lack of melody on some songs.

Close to Home is about to embark on the month-long tour, Scream It Like You Mean It. They’ll be playing the Red dates from July 5th to 28th alongside Attack Attack!, We Came As Romans, Woe, Is Me, and others. For the remainder of the tour, they will be playing the blue dates alongside The Acacia Strain, Oceano, Impending Doom, and more. If possible, try to make it out to a show and pick up Close to Home’s new album, Momentum. It will be one of the smartest music purchases you could make this summer.

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By Steven Pongrac ~ Me Gusta Reviews