Album Review: Closure – “I Don’t Mind”
Posted: by The Editor
For most of their career, Closure’s handle on twitter, as well as their bandcamp url, was closureemo. Prior to the release of their debut LP I Don’t Mind, they changed it to closureny. While this is an objectively goofy thing to get hung up on, it does reveal something about the band’s mindset going into I Don’t Mind.
Similar to how The Wonder Years changed from twypoppunk to TheWonderYears when they shifted away from pop-punk, Closure is growing past emo and out of the trappings of that entire scene. A glance through the tracklist seems to confirm this as well. Gone are joke titles like “top ten anime betrayals” and “stress eating a box of honey nut cheerios”; in their place are vague, terse titles like “Standing” and “Fragmented.” (Note the capitalization, too.)
Instead, most of I Don’t Mind is fairly straightforward alternative rock. It almost sounds close to what one might get if they started a band in the style of Saves the Day or Spitalfield in 2020. Now, “Memories” and “Call Me” do share some DNA with the band’s older music, namely in the subtle math-y riffs that open both songs. Past this, though, the band’s shed just about all the stylistic conventions of their old sound. Barring those introductory riffs, those two songs sound entirely removed from the band’s past work.
It’s unfortunate, on one hand, as Closure was without question one of the best bands playing their style of tongue-in-cheek math-emo. It’s something that shouldn’t come as a tremendous surprise, though, given that last year’s two-song something about the past EP already foreshadowed this change in direction. While both “oceans” and “conversations” had traces of math influence (particularly the former), both were rather primarily alt rock songs. They, along with pre-release single “Call Me,” all make sense as a bridge from you’re only made of moonlight to I Don’t Mind.
Beyond this, on its own merits, I Don’t Mind is a worthy debut for the Syracuse-based four-piece. They’re clearly confident in their new style; the songs are longer than nearly ever before, given more room to breathe and expand. “Fragmented,” the second-longest song the band’s ever penned, is both one of their most dynamic and one of their catchiest songs ever. Closure dips their toes into pop-punk on “Standing” and “Seasons Change,” but both songs still feel distinctly like Closure’s own, despite how oversaturated that sound has become.
Not only has the band grown more comfortable in their style, but vocalist Collins has grown more comfortable as a lead singer, slipping into his upper register semi-regularly on I Don’t Mind, a pleasant change of pace. Unfortunately, the band seems to have perfected their formula too well; there is admittedly rather little variation throughout the record besides flourishes (the ghost of a math riff in “Call Me,” the Stay What You Are energy of “Seasons Change”). Thankfully, the album has only eight songs and clocks in at less than half an hour, so things don’t blend together too much.
As a corollary, when the band does pull off a left-field song like “I Don’t Mind,” it’s that much more impressive. It’s hard to imagine an older version of Closure would’ve even attempted a song like the title track; it’s the only acoustic song in Closure’s catalog, and it’s uncharacteristically simple for the band. Still, unlike most obligatory acoustic closers, the song isn’t lifeless or boring; it’s as catchy as anything else on the record and, when the full band comes in two minutes in, it feels genuinely earned. It’s easily the best moment on the record, and it’s a glimpse at the greatness Closure can tap into an album or two down the road.
Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison
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