Review Summary: Not as appetizing as the album name suggests.
After First Temple
emerged into the post-hardcore scene as a flavored, technical, yet accessible interpretation on the genre, Closure In Moscow has made significant strides in a different direction; as soon as we are well acquainted with the First Temple
incarnation of the band, they change almost everything about themselves. As admirably risky such a feat is, with the release of Pink Lemonade
, the band shows an oddly contrived sense of progression. The new direction can be inadequately described as an expansion of the more eclectic aspects of First Temple.
This is marginally recognizable as Closure in Moscow, and the band appears to downplay its strengths for cheap gimmicks designed to make them stand out, but end up detracting from the experience.
Closure in Moscow had vast potential with their new sound; the non-album version of "Church of the Technochrist" and older single "The Impeccable Beast" foreshadowed a more streamlined progressive rock leaning, combining their propensity for vocal hooks and groovy guitar jamming. It was a delicious combination, but seemingly for the sake of artistic spirit, the band tacked on a series of unnecessary and off-putting production choices that ultimately bog down their ability to engage the listener. Make no mistake; there are good songs on here, and the experience is an enjoyable, if confusing one. There are, however, major shortcomings that prevent the album from being something great.
The combination of slower songs, jarring vocal effects, and wanton sampling are distractions, but even when these aren't in play the musicians are still not at the top of their game. A sweet riff appears in the beginning of the album's titular second track, but it's muted enough to nearly be missed; other demonstrations of technical ability are shamefully absent from other tracks as well, with the focus landing on Christopher DeCinque's excellent but melodically misused clean vocals. The album's final track deserves a special shoutout: it's a chiptune/jpop track and while it honestly isn't absolutely terrible, it's a massive stylistic deviation. It isn't a satisfying closer in any sense, but as a lighthearted joke it fills its role.
, while showing snippets of Closure In Moscow's immense musical ability, ends up being a hilariously bloated and sadly lackluster album, rife with filler. For every brilliant moment there are two more moments that must simply be tolerated. Very unfortunately, the band is at its best when it's being the most repetitive. Musical ideas are tossed about haphazardly, showing little regard for consistency, and this reviewer is left wishing that the band would shed the unnecessary elements to focus on what it's best at.
Seeds of Gold