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Album Review
The Closers - Self Titled Album Cover

The Closers - Self Titled

Reviewed by
7.6
The ClosersSelf Titled
Record Label: None
Release Date: 2010

The Closers might already be more important than what they’re ready for. On stage, the Warwick, New York 7-piece projects the image of an awkward high school garage band; one member flaunts a hoodie and leg-strangling skinny jeans, while another opts for a classy vest. Nevertheless, they manage to get their crowds gyrating anyway, and in veteran fashion, too – by simply playing good music. Most of it comes as an eyebrow-raising surprise: The Closers blast frantic, The-Clash-meets-Less-Than-Jake ska jams with such precision and sweaty passion you’d think they were ready to single-handedly revive the mostly defunct genre. But it’s a surprise because Self Titled is only their debut album. So already, their theme is “potential,” and lots and lots of it, too.

At times, you can tell the album is a debut, since there are holes in the songwriting here and there. “No More,” a scathing criticism of war (it’s blunt about it: “Fuck this war!”), runs through its sassy but pissed off verse/chorus cycle just fine, but it could have done without the shabby chug-chug breakdown towards the end of the song. And “The Stand Up,” while a fun ditty about the wrath of a girl, feels like filler among the other tracks.

Otherwise, Self Titled is as delicious and raucous as ska gets. Save for “Interlude,” it hardly takes a breath during its 14-track tirade, pushing thundering energy and memorable horn riffs until the last glorious “Goodbye!” in closer “The Legacy.” “Stereo” could be the most contagious track, spreading reggae-flavored guitars and tropical horns over a climbing bass line. Elsewhere, “Going Nowhere” builds on marching band flair, while “Casualties” slashes and grinds with reckless abandon. “The Winter Song” is pure pop-punk: “One day we will leave this town and never look around until we feel alright / But for now, just hold on and things will be just fine.”

The Closers leave much to appreciate here, but even more to be in awe of. As a freshman band that has just produced an effort capable of holding the ska enthusiast’s attention from start to finish, they are the band to watch in their niche of the current music scene. But though it’s easy to focus on the future with this band – will they trigger a ska revival? – Self Titled makes sure you don’t forget where they already are right now. “Music keeps us in the air,” declares “Off the Ground,” and you can be rest assured The Closers know what they’re talking about.

Recommended If You LikeStreetlight Manifesto, Catch-22, The Clash, Less Than Jake


Check out The Closers on Myspace.
This review is a user submitted review from Matthew Tsai. You can see all of Matthew Tsai's submitted reviews here.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 8 of 8
12:21 AM on 06/14/10
#2
Thomas Nassiff
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Nice review, man. Checking them out now, might buy this. Seems like something I need to hear. The Streetlight RIYL gets me excited too.

Edit: Yeah, listened to a couple songs and the Streetlight similarity is definitely there. It's in his voice the most I think. Really digging the horns, too. Better than most ska groups I've heard recently.
08:45 AM on 06/14/10
#3
Matthew Tsai
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Nice review, man. Checking them out now, might buy this. Seems like something I need to hear. The Streetlight RIYL gets me excited too.

Edit: Yeah, listened to a couple songs and the Streetlight similarity is definitely there. It's in his voice the most I think. Really digging the horns, too. Better than most ska groups I've heard recently.
I haven't heard much Streetlight, but from what I remember I think they're a little more experimental? I could be wrong. The Closers are more straightforward, LTJ-esque. Not that one is better than the other - just observing.
11:10 AM on 06/14/10
#4
Thomas Nassiff
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I haven't heard much Streetlight, but from what I remember I think they're a little more experimental? I could be wrong. The Closers are more straightforward, LTJ-esque. Not that one is better than the other - just observing.
I can't really say, I don't listen to enough ska to judge. But the way he delivers his lyrics reminds me of the guy from Streetlight.
11:31 AM on 06/14/10
#5
Matthew Tsai
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I can't really say, I don't listen to enough ska to judge. But the way he delivers his lyrics reminds me of the guy from Streetlight.
Ah ok, that might be the case. I listened to some more Streetlight because of your comment and I think I should go deeper into their discography.
11:48 AM on 06/14/10
#6
Thomas Nassiff
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Ah ok, that might be the case. I listened to some more Streetlight because of your comment and I think I should go deeper into their discography.
I only have the Everything Went Numb record and a few songs off of the other one, the one with the blue and yellow cover lol. But I've been meaning for a while to get their other stuff.
04:30 AM on 06/16/10
#7
Michael Holmes
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Well the Closers will be on the same bill July 31st at the Chance in Poughkeepsie NY along with Streetlight and others so there's a good chance to hear them both in the same night! The Closers live are a very powerful band and the horn section gets the crowd up from the first note to the end of the show every time, with the fans singing along to the "Legacy" every time. Their CD is great and live they really deliver the goods.
09:58 AM on 06/16/10
#8
Jason Stefano
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The closers are an unbeliveably tallented Band. If you have not seen then Live "IT IS A MUST". First time I saw them I didn't know what to expect, Now I can't get enough. Playing the CD in my car ,Hitting all the shows possible , dancing around the house singing the lyrics!!!!! Deffinately check them out.

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