Braid | Closer to Closed

Polyvinyl (2011)
By SAM UEDA  |  August 23, 2011
2.0 2.0 Stars


After 11 years, Braid is back with something you may have to make a small effort to enjoy. This four-track EP has fleeting moments of vocal lines and guitar riffs that harken back to the plucky and cathartic sound that defined the Champaign, Illinois, emo act, but Closer to Closed is a combination of the past two decades, merging the traditional '90s Braid and the band's early-aughts offshoot project, Hey Mercedes. It may be a post-hardcore style everyone in Braid 2.0 can agree on, but unfortunately it teeters between highly produced commercial pop-punk and raw, hormonal pop-punk — and the happy medium ends up inconclusive and still divided. Closing track "Universe or Worse" runs most similar to old-school Braid; the tricky guitar and drum lines make this one close to what could be a head-bobbing math-rock gem, but the softening voice of 36-year-old Bob Nanna is a reminder that the youthful emotions of their past have been replaced with feelings of growing up and/or old. Closer to Closed is a testament to the decline of Braid's teen angst, but those who grew up with the band may not recognize this aging friend.
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  Topics: CD Reviews , Music, CD reviews, emo,  More more >
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