AbsolutePunk.net
   Username
Password
 
Album Review
Hint: Follow a reviewer to be notified when they post reviews.
Braid - Closer to Closed EP Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8
Musicianship 8.75
Lyrics 7
Production 8.5
Creativity 8
Lasting Value 8
Reviewer Tilt 8.75
Final Verdict: 81%
Member Ratings
Vocals 7
Musicianship 9
Lyrics 7.5
Production 8
Creativity 7
Lasting Value 8.5
Reviewer Tilt 8
Average: 79%
Inside AP.net

Braid - Closer to Closed EP

Reviewed by: Adam Pfleider (08/18/11)
Braid - Closer to Closed EP
Record Label: Polyvinyl Records
Release Date: August 16th, 2011

The Midwestern emo/indie sound has certainly found its way full circle in the last two to three years. With the help of the Internet and the resurgence of "first press" finds in the local used vinyl bins, another generation is connecting with a sound that seemed distant from the mainstream when we were only young enough to know about the radio instead of torrents when finding music. When it came to that sound, Braid are hailed as one of the pioneers of the scene. 1998's Frame and Canvas remains not only a solid piece of guitar noodling and strained vocal delivery, it's also a blueprint we're seeing used by a few young upstarts and worshipers today.

Much like the '90s scene, as soon as a band perceived their perfection, it was over before any sort of true outside appreciation could be harnessed. While the members went onto form some other notable outfits and get "real" jobs, they informed the public this past year that they were getting together to play some shows and write some new material. Instead of a full-length, we've received a four song EP that reminds us why we fell in love with the band in the first place. Though Closer to Closed isn't reinventing the sound Braid helped map out, it's a warm welcome of a record that shows the four guys haven't lost their chops.

The music on Closer to Closed will seem familiar, like the guys haven't been inactive for as long as they have. Hearing Chris Broach on the opening "The Right Time" is a bit head scratching as he takes full control of lead vocals, but it works. When Bob Nanna's harsh, heartfelt throat comes in on "Do Over," most fans will welcome it more, though it sits as the weakest of the four tunes. "You Are the Reason" back to back with "Universe or Worse" would have made for one stellar 7". Nanna's voice shines on these, and the band's song direction layered over keys is standout on the former, while the epilogue of a build-up on the latter is stunning.

Unlike last year's Simple Science release from The Get Up Kids, Braid haven't really progressed anywhere worth noting beyond, "The new Braid songs are great," as you add them to your iPod or playlist. The simplicity of Nanna and Broach's lyrics are part of what made the band, and they won't graduate any further with this release. Bad thing? If you take it that way, then sure, be elitist about it. This sound and this genre was always meant to be heartfelt to the point of connecting easily with a lot of people. As "Universe or Worse" winds itself down, a lot of listeners will remember why they not only connected with Braid, but the heart-on-the-sleeve movement as well. It's nice to have a few good new tracks to add to the collection from one of the scene's finest.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 18
08:51 PM on 08/18/11
#2
Dre Okorley
Offline
User Info.
Dre Okorley's Avatar
I'm so excited to hear this record. Good review. I think I liked Age of Octeen the most though.
11:54 PM on 08/18/11
#3
ShimmerAndSpill
Be Brave
Offline
User Info.
ShimmerAndSpill's Avatar
That first song is ridiculously catchy, it's always stuck in my head.
04:24 AM on 08/19/11
#4
troubledbyinsects
~
Offline
User Info.
troubledbyinsects's Avatar
Solid EP.
04:34 AM on 08/19/11
#5
CheckeredFloors
nah
Offline
User Info.
CheckeredFloors's Avatar
This EP was the first I've heard of Braid.

Decent stuff.
04:45 AM on 08/19/11
#6
troubledbyinsects
~
Offline
User Info.
troubledbyinsects's Avatar
This EP was the first I've heard of Braid.

Decent stuff.
Check out their older stuff, especially Frame and Canvas. Way better.
04:53 AM on 08/19/11
#7
CheckeredFloors
nah
Offline
User Info.
CheckeredFloors's Avatar
Check out their older stuff, especially Frame and Canvas. Way better.
Will put it on my list. Thanks.
06:55 AM on 08/19/11
#8
Jeremy Aaron
Offline
User Info.
Jeremy Aaron's Avatar
I think this is about as good as you could expect new music from a band reconvening after all that time to be. I'm not sure the squeaky clean production does them any favors, and I would have liked to have heard more of their aggro side-- but any new Braid is better than none at all.
07:03 AM on 08/19/11
#9
Dre Okorley
Offline
User Info.
Dre Okorley's Avatar
I think this is about as good as you could expect new music from a band reconvening after all that time to be. I'm not sure the squeaky clean production does them any favors, and I would have liked to have heard more of their aggro side-- but any new Braid is better than none at all.
That's one of the reasons why I prefer Age of Octeen to Frame, to be honest. I love the rawer sound.
09:27 AM on 08/19/11
Hamburglar
Jeff
Offline
User Info.
Hamburglar's Avatar
I've never heard their previous stuff, but after hearing this I'm definitely going to check out Frame and Canvas.
10:15 AM on 08/19/11
AdamChildress
Wondrous Oblivion.
Offline
User Info.
No Avatar Selected
Braid =) I'm just happy to see a release by them to be honest. I would of loved it either way =) I missed them so much.
10:53 AM on 08/19/11
bandnamexmyname
&^%^&
Offline
User Info.
bandnamexmyname's Avatar
Pitchfork tore this one apart, but I quite like it.
10:55 AM on 08/19/11
Dre Okorley
Offline
User Info.
Dre Okorley's Avatar
Pitchfork tore this one apart, but I quite like it.
Pitchfork tears everything apart. It's so annoying.
11:13 AM on 08/19/11
Adam Pfleider
wait. what were we talking about?
Offline
User Info.
Adam Pfleider's Avatar
I think this is about as good as you could expect new music from a band reconvening after all that time to be. I'm not sure the squeaky clean production does them any favors, and I would have liked to have heard more of their aggro side-- but any new Braid is better than none at all.
I think that last point sums it up best. the second two tracks are stronger than the first two, and I'd rather Broach's vocals be as shredded as they used to be and not as squeaky clean, but it is what is, and yes, at the end of the day, it's good just to have this new music.
11:20 AM on 08/19/11
bandnamexmyname
&^%^&
Offline
User Info.
bandnamexmyname's Avatar
Pitchfork tears everything apart. It's so annoying.
I used to be pissed off by it (their TGUK and Jimmy Eat World reviews used to irk me to no end) but now I don't too much stock in their reviews, because whether or not you agree with them is a non-issue to them, and now that I think about it they're all very well-written reviews, regardless of the opinion behind them. But yeah, I see where you're coming from.
Options
More From This Author
Buy the Music

NEWS, MUSIC & MORE
Search News
Release Dates
Exclusives
Best New Music
Articles
CONNECT
Submit News
Forums
Contests
Mobile Version
AP.net Logos
HIDDEN TREASURES
AbsolutePunk Podcast
Free Music
Sports Forum
Technology Forum
Recommendations
INFORMATION
Advertising
Contact Us
Copyright Policy
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
FOLLOW
Twitter | Facebook | RSS
PropertyOfZack
PunkNews.org
UnderTheGun
Chorus.fm