Review Summary: Not too sweet, not too sour, five years later, Pink Lemonade is a downright psychotropic epic.
Us musicians can be a fickle, discerning bunch. Endlessly refining and dividing our taste, when we find something we love, we rarely want it to change. Such an obstacle is illustrated in the soulful saga that has become Closure in Moscow.
Five years after their 2009 post-rock inspired debut, fans could easily expect the sounds of a band matured. And matured they have. But in taking more than one cue from contemporaries Mars Volta, Closure in Moscow have served us Pink Lemonade with a serious dose of psychedelic sauciness, unafraid to grin defiantly through even their most twisted of vibes. The results are profound.
The album begins oddly enough at the cover. The soft, reverberating soundscape gives way to odd-timed riffs, sensual grooves, and the most tasteful of ludicrous lyrics. There were many moments I equated my first listen of the album with a serious psychedelic trip. Like a night of magic mushrooms, Pink Lemonade approaches goofy distortions and effects with cinematic, existential vision.
'Neoprene Byzantine' and 'Dinosaur Boss Battle' reach new heights for the band in terms of all out swing. Chorus-laden guitar lines drip with style and fuzz, as vocalist Christopher DeCinque channels the fearlessness of both a young Robert Plant or Freddie Mercury. Fans will be happy to hear the already impeccable vocal interplay between DeCinque and backup-vocalist/guitarist Mansur Zanneli are even more effective this time around, even when competing with bizarre voiceovers spoken in Japanese or Robot Speak.
The bands new rhythm section brings an absurd amount of funk and dancibility to the album, a topic of some debate among long-time fans. Drummer Salvatore Aidone and bassist Duncan Miller tastefully lay their chops down over gems like 'Seeds of Gold,' in which listeners will unavoidingly find themselves "dancing like they don't know they suck," as forewarned in the album preview.
Stubborn listeners may not know how to react to all this sheer joy and wonderment if they expected a post-rock opus similar to First Temple or the 'albumette' before that. But the band's consistency lies in it's vision and execution. While the music takes a daring, obvious leap towards psychedelic blues, the band's quasi-esoteric passions burn ever brighter.
'Mauerbauertraurigkeit,' the albums slowest moment, is the one genuinely nostalgic track, occasionally sounding like it originated from the days of The Penance and the Patience. Incidentally, this was my one issue with the entire album. The song itself is beautiful, and stands well on its own, but the nostalgia alone was enough to distract me from the flow of the album for a minute. Although it does lead to the now even more amazing 'Church of the Techno Christ' and truly interesting 'Beckon Fire.'
Much like the fuchsia tinged refreshment (or the 'fuchsiafied dream') the album gets its name from, the separate ingredients of the record are as mischievous as they are mysterious. Both immediately satisfying and worth savoring with taste, Pink Lemonade is the sound of sweet and sour magic five years in the making.