With an ever growing glut of melodic post-hardcore bands to choose from nowadays, the necessity for a unique selling point, no matter how small, has never been greater. Whilst most seem content to sit back and let the same old breakdowns and rehashed chorus hooks do the work, a touch of variety is essential to make sure that a band’s self life endures longer than just a mere flash in the pan. And, although Close To Home are largely guilty of these genericisms, a spark of sincerity and a wholehearted performance saves ‘Momentum’ from the charactless pack.
Indeed, tracks such as album highlight ‘Modern Warfare’ are certainly nothing we haven’t heard before, all electronic florishes and good cop/bad cop vocals, but it’s the sheer force with which the song is delivered which impresses here. The barb wire screaming is thoroughly convincing, and even the cleans, with their custom studio polish, are projected with such fervor and grit that it’s hard to not be affected.
Not only this, but the hooks here do much to distinguish the band as it banishes the one pitfall which plagues post-hardcore as of late. It’s forgetable nature. Although many carbon copy outfits churn out tediously bland melodies, the choruses here really stick, making songs such as the shimmering ‘Family Ties’ unequivocally striking.
Close To Home also prove themselves very adapt at switching up dynamics. The fantastically tuneful ‘Sleepless In Cincinnati’, with its upbeat chord progressions and driving chorus, manages to sound in part hugely aggressive and joyously infectious. The same can be said for ‘Pirates Belong At Sea’, shifting from crunching breakdowns and towering melodies with commendable ease.
Ultimately, ‘Momentum’ succeeds because it’s chock full of memorable songs. Honing their craft until it is razor sharp, the band have delivered an album that undeniably gives us nothing groundbreaking, but is by turns as catchy and as aggressive as any of the heaviest hitters in the game, and shows Close To Home to have all the necessary tools with which to build an exciting future for themselves.
Written by Tony Bliss