Closer to Closed

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Their first new material since their breakup in 2000, Closer to Closed finds emo icons Braid reopening the book after over a decade apart. Unlike some reunion albums, it’s clear that some time has passed for this band. While the sound is by no means stale, it doesn’t have the same edge that the band became known for during their heyday, at times feeling more like an extension of Hey Mercedes than a proper Braid release. With just three new songs, as well as a cover of Jeff Hanson’s “You are the Reason” (which features J. Robbins on piano and percussion), it’s as if Braid is limbering up before launching into something new, working out the kinks and getting comfortable with being a band again. On a longer album, this kind of pre-game stretching would’ve been hard to swallow, but the EP’s brevity, and the angular and beautifully syncopated “Universe of Worse,” makes the whole thing easier to handle.

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