Review Summary: This here is your techcommunion
Back in high school, my friend Jeffery absolutely worshipped The Fall Of Troy. From the armada of the band’s tees he’d wear to the sheer amount of times Doppelganger
came up in our discussions, it was plainly obvious that pretty much the only thing the dude was truly passionate about was Thomas Erak’s sick guitar hooks and what came with them. And you know what? If Jeffery had been a musician, he would’ve written an album just like Closure To Moscow’s debut First Temple
. Considering that album wore its TFOT influence on its sleeve like nothing else, all the pieces fit perfectly. I never felt I could enjoy a record like First Temple
, though, one that seemed so clearly comprised of its few influences- just like I’m not sure I honestly would’ve wanted to hear music Jeffery had written at that time. Both of us knew it would have sounded even more like Thomas Erak than Erak himself, and if that were the case then what’s the use?
Even though I’m not confident Jeff even remembers who I am, it’s easy for me to picture him going back to his roots musically. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if he’s been dusting off his dad’s Led Zeppelin vinyls over the last couple years, finally grasping what made rock music matter before his favorite band ever did. And the funny thing is that similarly, Closure in Moscow’s second release Pink Lemonade
has the same kind of vibe to it- it sounds like the record that inspired First Temple
, in terms of scope as well as influence. To the unsuspecting listener, Closure In Moscow’s second studio album is loud and proud in all the wrong ways. Its structure is erratic at best and unreliable at worst, and the album is so shamelessly exuberant that it can be nauseating with too big a gulp at once. Songs like “The Church of the Technochrist” are enriched with so many funk and classic rock influences that it’s damned near impossible to not
cringe a little on that first listen- not because there’s anything wrong with the song, but because it’s such a flagrant deviation from what we expected from the band. It’s indicative of a grander theme of this record- it’s all one big joke.
unerringly tongue-in-cheek that those expecting a straight-faced progressive rock album here are bound to be left twisting in the wind. From the soaked-in-satire of “That Brahmatron Song” to the chiptune song that closes the record, it becomes abundantly clear through the album’s 61-minute runtime that this is one weird journey, one that takes turns only when it means to. But you know what’s so exciting about this album’s unpredictability? I haven’t heard a record in so long that embraces the bombast of headstrong musicianship as well as Pink Lemonade
. Its lengthier tracks’ jarring tempo shifts work surprisingly well, in that the listen always offers something new; furthermore, each song explores wildly different sounds for the band. “Neoprene Byzantine” is a hark back to the Bedlam-era Mars Volta with its spastic musicianship, while “Mauerbauertraurigkeit” (I know) is clearly inspired by Casey Crescenzo’s vocal harmonies and off-kilter time signatures. For all the variety on Pink Lemonade
, there’s a song for everyone- yet all the tracks mesh together into a fairly palatable offering.
And this is the brilliance of it- while First Temple
was a success on paper, it had none of the machismo of Pink Lemonade
. It represented a time when Closure in Moscow hadn’t yet hit their stride, when they wanted nothing more than to be a part of the post-hardcore scene The Fall of Troy had helped cultivate in recent years. Pink Lemonade
is more versatile with its influences, and is more dynamic across the board as a result. Yet somehow, by channeling all these divergent influences into a single album it seems Closure in Moscow have found their true sound- one that’s a little cheesy, a little derivative, but more amusing than ever. And I imagine Jeffery would have even more to say about it than myself.