When a band goes quiet, it can mean one of two things: The band has dissipated and just hasn’t alerted their fans to the fact, or, they are working on something rather large. Closure in Moscow did the latter, and now, we have the psychedelic and theatrical Pink Lemonade. Backed by a massive crowd funding campaign, this album represents what the band truly wanted to do as a follow up to 2009’s First Temple. If you were anticipating the band to rest on their laurels for this release, you will be sorely disappointed, but hopefully you’d be incredibly pleased. This isn’t your dad’s Closure in Moscow record, and it never wanted to be.
First, before even delving into the sound, the cover of the album should be discussed, as it gives a fair idea of what the listener is getting into. A mysterious man wearing a large hat, and the hat’s brim conceals his eyes. He’s brewing a strange, frothy concoction that resembles pink lemonade. With the ingredients lying in front of him, you can tell it’s more than that, though. The photo of the man is worn, as if it came from the 70’s, and there is something enticing about his gaze that you are unable to meet. It’s hard to put a finger on it, but something in the back of your head says that a sip of that drink might answer all of your questions. Now, with all that in mind, a sip of the frothy mixture is taken, and the journey begins.
Unapologetically grandiose in nature, the record pushes the limits of self-indulgence. At times, that can be its downfall, while at other times, it can be an incredible strength. When listening to songs like ‘Dinosaur Boss Battle’ and the end of ‘That Brahmatron Song’, it feels like a weakness, as they meander aimlessly, becoming jam sessions. It detracts from the excellent flow the record establishes with the first four songs. Yet, songs like ‘Pink Lemonade’, ‘Mauerbauertraurigkeit’, and ‘The Church of the Technochrist’ are interesting and energetic enough to justify their longer lengths, and do not disrupt the flow at all. Many of the shorter tracks are phenomenal, because they are locked in on a particular focus. When Closure in Moscow focus in, it’s blissful. The grooves they achieve on ‘Seeds of Gold’ which starts out resembling some super catchy porno jam and ‘Happy Days’ are unparalleled. One thing that also propels the record forward are the theatrics and excellent vocals of the bands vocalist, Christopher de Cinque, who is at times reminiscent of Cedric Bixler-Zavala from The Mars Volta. Without him, we wouldn’t have the abstract visuals and moving melodies that push their progressive rock to new levels of ridiculousness.
Overall, this album is unafraid to explore new territory, and is also not afraid to discover the pitfalls and triumphs of this unfamiliar landscape. Though, if the listener goes in expecting to hear First Temple 2.0, they will probably be sorely disappointed. The direction the band has moved in is a different one, but that is by no means a bad thing. Closure in Moscow is dead. Long live Closure in Moscow.
Closure in Moscow – Pink Lemonade gets…