Closure in Moscow – The Penance and the Patience
Release Date: April 19, 2008 (AUS)
Record Label: Taperjean Records (AUS)
When we think of our best music imports here in the US, a lot of us tend to think immediately of the UK as the deepest talent reservoir of the last few decades. Be that as it may, Australia certainly seems to beg consideration amidst that same upper echelon, introducing listeners to such iconic acts as AC/DC, The Bad Seeds, INXS, Silverchair, Kylie Minogue, The Living End, and countless others. Now fostering a burgeoning indie and progressive rock scene, it seems the Aussies have one more top notch talent to give us with Closure in Moscow.
Hailing from Melbourne and sounding like a stew of Saosin, The Mars Volta, Circa Survive, and Lostprophets, it only makes sense that Closure in Moscow should get a warm reception over on US shores as well. On their debut EP (or “albumette” as they call it) The Penance and the Patience, Closure grabs listener’s ears, and quick. The EP crashes out of the gate with the furious breakdown of “We Want Guarantees…” and then showcases the group’s flair for the dramatic with chunky verse guitar riffs that carry the song along well into its roaring chorus. From there, an injection of mood with a sparse, fragile bridge that again explodes into a flurry of guitars and percussion, all with Chris de Cinque’s bold wail towering above his band’s stellar backdrop. The opener is really a marvelous exercise in controlled fury and creative diversity, an A+ without a doubt.
On later cuts like “Dulcinea” and “Ofelia, Ofelia” the band dials the intensity back and offers up a pair of slower, more reflective pieces that while solid on their own and bolstered by de Cinque’s seductive vocal delivery, do little to showcase the band’s ability to construct unique and engaging songs. Case in point, the EP’s highlight, “Breathing Underwater.” Relentlessly oscillating between different tempos and constructs, the tune is a sprawling rock epic, but still as blistering as the best Saosin or Circa Survive tracks. The female vocals in the bridge are a nice touch, and when they cede to a final explosive chorus, it is the rare type of moment for a new band to instill in a listener, where they think, “I need to see this band live.” Absolutely killer stuff.
Closure in Moscow closes the loop rather well with the ball-busting “Here’s to Entropy” and “Jewels for Eyes” and really cement their work as an incredibly accomplished offering for any band, let alone from a set of relative unknowns from down under. Sure, comparisons to other bands are inevitable – especially those to Saosin, but on The Penance and the Patience, CIM really assert themselves as much more than your typical trend jumping copycats. They are certainly more experimental than the “new” Saosin, more upfront and intense than Circa Survive, and just generally fuck around a lot less than The Mars Volta. Essentially, they are a fine compromise between the three, and that is a mélange that will certainly appeal to fans of mainstream rock as well as the more discerning audience that demands more than a band to play it safe. Closure in Moscow is easily one of the most exciting new bands in years, and here’s to hoping they grace our fine states with more music and touring in the near future.