Closer "Tokpela" CDPosted on Monday, May 15th, 2006 @ 8:18am » permalink
I'm starting this week off on quite a high note with the self-released debut EP from Closer (Sweden), titled "Tokpela". This release is a perfect example for my endless quest to convince people that purchasing mp3's is a terrible, terrible manner in which to experience music, because you know you're in for something special just from looking at this thing. The plain-faced disc comes in an opaque jet black jewel case with an intriguing sticker on the front of the case (seen above), and this standard (yet quite atypical) case is then housed in a plain white slip sleeve with the band name, album title, and tracklist embossed into it – which looks truly stunning and certainly sets the scene for some incredible music.
I kind of feel like I'm growing increasingly tired of trying to classify inventive music within whatever genre boundaries these days, especially since I'll listen to anything as long as it's good, but just for reference I'd probably refer to what Closer's doing as something like "progressive indie rock" or something, ha. Seriously, to me a lot of the riffs and arrangements sort of sound like Opeth if they were to drop the metal and go for somewhat of a dryer and more angular sound. There's a great balance of melody and dissonance, I love the vocal work, the songwriting is dynamic yet consistent, and there's a lot of intricate riffing – so the entire affair is much more involved than cursory listens might reveal. It really is very creative material, and definitely has a unique sound to it despite the possibility of loose comparisons to other artists. I dig the crisp and spacious recording, the lyrics (which are delivered in English) are interesting, and I already mentioned the killer packaging… this is just a superb EP all around. Yet another amazing band from Sweden that deserves far more attention:
I'm a huge fan of this material and eagerly looking forward to hearing more, so I'm certainly hoping for the best for this band as I'd love to see them get the opportunity to reach many, many more listeners. Thus, of course, I highly recommend the purchase of this CD. Buying the mp3's may be cheaper, but trust me, the packaging is worth the extra $6, and $10 really is a reasonable price for this excellent piece of work. There may only be four tracks, but the disc does run about 25 minutes, and every song's a true keeper. Plus, It's a Trap is a great source for obscure Scandinavian artists like Closer, so I wholeheartedly recommend and encourage supporting their efforts so that they can continue to be one of the only American suppliers of such materials: