Closedown

Nearfield

  • AllMusic Rating
    6
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Though Silent was mostly known during its early '90s existence for ambient keyboard-based explorations, it did also get this trio's debut effort out, one of the first and best American responses to U.K. shoegazing bands. The opening keyboard atmospherics and reverberating bird calls may seem more like typical new age, but when the first heavily processed and delayed guitar wash suddenly wafts into view along with bells and chimes, it's enough to catch the ear of any Cocteau Twins or My Bloody Valentine fan. With further obvious inspiration from Slowdive and a name taken from a Cure song, Closedown admittedly wasn't one for total innovation. Still, those who love the serene psychedelia that such names can conjure up will be entirely in their element here. Bandleader Jerry Battle, who handles the guitar and vocals, knows exactly where he needs to aim at with both -- vast and echo-laden with the former, withdrawn and whispered with the latter. The rhythm section, with one James on drums and a Fernando on bass, also similarly does what needs doing -- steady, early Pink Floyd style pacing and fills, Simon Gallup-influenced low, moody tones and so forth. It's all fairly obvious, but it's such a wonderfully good obvious as well -- better this than yet another of the wannabe alternative groups cluttering up 1994, at least. Another member, Cesar Betancourt, gets credits for treatments -- whether this means taking Battle's work and further going nuts with it or simply adding further studio tweaks is unclear, but there's a healthy flow of dreamy texturing throughout, along with murkier offerings like "Kilobit." Appropriate samples from 2010: Odyssey Two ("My god, it's full of stars!") and song titles like "Sunangel Summer" and "Empyreal" fill out this unoriginal yet quite enjoyable album, well worth any dream pop fan's time.

blue highlight denotes track pick