To be honest, at least as of press time, we’ve heard less than thirty seconds of whatever it is Closure in Moscow has been teasing, but we’re already on our toes. Melbourne’s psychedelic prog pirates know how to deliciously eschew expectations in just about every way, and perhaps what’s got us all pins and needles – all know, is that we do not know. And we know it.
For the uninitiated, between 2008 and 2009, the band showed immense promise as an eccentric force of nature in the world of post-hardcore. With their esoteric lyrics and vivid, adventurous songwriting, Closure in Moscow effortlessly converted fans of bands like Saosin, Circa Survive, and Coheed and Cambria with undeniable chops and personality.
The group’s 2009 LP First Temple had a razor edge wit, complimented by exciting yet grounded melodic sense. Streaks of druidic hermeticism and mythological pathos run wild throughout the record’s run time in songs like “I’m a Ghost of Twilight” and “Deluge.” We’d recommend it to friends, and instead of running away, they’d come back obsessed. At the time, Closure in Moscow seemed genuinely primed to take over the world of alternative post-hardcore with whatever they did next.
Then came the first ice age – the five year period between Closure in Moscow’s highly influential First Temple and their highly controversial followup, Pink Lemonade. This largely silent era put obsessives on a trail of band related conspiracy theories, occasionally spurred by bizarre Robert Anton Wilson-reference photoshoots and meta-meme lyrical previews featured singer Chris De Cinque’s website.
That being said, it wasn’t completely silent from the boys – a year after First Temple the band announced a slightly altered lineup, namely that their rhythm section had been replaced. It would be two years until we heard what the new additions would be bringing to the table in the form of standalone single “The Impeccable Beast.” To put it mildly, the song’s psychedelic non-chalance polarized its listeners, with many fans feeling nervous, if not downright upset about the band’s new direction. In retrospect, “The Impeccable Beast,” isn’t a bad song, but there’s nothing on it as cool or as memorable we’d be discovering a couple years.
Two years later, new material premiered via live performance – we’d link it here, but it’s since been scrubbed from Youtube. But we can tell you – we were there: “Pink Lemonade” and “Happy Days” bowled us over swagger, doubling down on the qualities many fans were unsure about, but creating something far more lucid and charismatic than naysayers could have projected. The band was back, establishing a trend they’ve carried on to this day: following their own compass, no matter what the expectations are.
After an expansive pre-order campaign that literally included a high-end car at the top tier, Pink Lemonade finally came out in 2014, taking fanatics and critics alike on a mind-bending journey through a metaphysical concept album that fell somewhere between The Matrix, The Wizard of Oz, and Pink Floyd’s The Wall. Leaning more into Dear Hunter and Mars Volta comparisons than anything explicitly post-hardcore, the band reconnected with much of it’s former audience with gutsy, mischievous aplomb.
Fun Fact: When we were writing reviews at Sputnikmusic.com a few years back, we gave this record a whopping up 5 out of 5. We got a lot of shit for it, but looking back, we still mean. It’s not a perfect record, and layers of it are still incomprehensible, but Pink Lemonade is still a radically impressive feat that low-key set the pace for a new, experimental wave of bands bandsfrom Hail the Sun and Royal Coda to The Body and black midi.
Whether it’s a classic in your book or a simple, sneering placeholder, Pink Lemonade also marks the last official piece of music we’ve heard from the band, thus initiating a second ice age. Yes, the one we’re in now although hopefully it’s on the verge of thaw. On one hand, we’d like to say we learned our lesson. Closure in Moscow’s distinct sense of narrative isn’t something we want to rush. It’s the price we pay for decent art, we reckon. On the other, we totally wish we knew what the hell was going on.
One time, a group of friends and I attempted to go see CiM for the 2010 Warped Tour, the summer we’d all graduated high school. Unfortunately, we were thwarted by another one of our friends’ parents threatening to call the cops on us if we left town with their family vehicle. Looking back, we should have risked it.
But we DID manage to catch them a good ten years later supporting Protest the Hero with Thank You, Scientist, and the experience was incredible. Not only did Closure utterly show up every other performer to touch the stage that night, they brought hearts and minds together in a real way. No, it wasn’t the mushrooms. At least, not the ones we were on. We’ll never forget looking over at a happy young couple, jumping and screaming the lyrics to “Sweet#eart” with tears in their eyes. The band rarely gets stateside, so like most of us in the room, hearing it and singing along to it was an emotional experience.
So at least we’ll always have that. The band has been teasing behind the scenes footage and clips on social media for months now, but it’s been scant when it comes to anything even remotely official. Which is likely how Closure in Moscow prefers it. We’ll let you know when we hear something. Anything at all. Anything. Please.
That’s it, that’s all we have to say for now. Join us on this unending hype train here or chug us a coffee here. We will not be holding our breath for either.