March 11, 2014 by Craig McAllister
When I first saw the name Closer, I assumed the band was a post-punk outfit with cheese grater-thin guitars and a combined taste for the output of Joy Division. How wrong I was.
Closer are a balls-out alt/rock band from Kilmarnock. They have decent pedigree having been around in various line-ups with varying names since 2001. Nowadays they’re yer classic power trio – guitar, bass and drums, with 3 vocalists, drawing influences from such touchstones as Nirvana, Helmet, Nine Inch Nails, Tool and Belle & Sebastian.
OK, maybe not Belle &Sebastian.
Closer sound as if they eat metallic riffs for breakfast, washed down with molten lava. Hard as it is to tell from the band photo below, (“Designed in a bid to look enigmatic”, the band say, “and not have our ageing, sagging faces on display”) at least one of Closer will have decent, manly facial hair. It’s very likely they’re no strangers to a piercing or two. And all three of them will currently be saving up for an expensive inking session at a city tattooists.
We spoke to David from the band ahead of their HAC gig on the 21st March. He’s super-serious about his band, but also very funny:
Bum Note: Imagine you are telling your 70 year-old granny that you play in a band. How would you describe your sound?
Gran. The music we make is the kind that Dad always complains about, that it’s too loud and you can’t hear what we’re singing, but that’s just the way we like it. When we’re writing and playing this music, it has to make us think and make us feel and tell the world what’s in our heads. That’s why it has to be loud – sometimes to block out all the other stuff that doesn’t make sense, at least yet – and that’s why you can’t always hear the words – sometimes it’s better to make up your own.
I hope there was music that helped define your life Gran, everyone deserves and reserves the right to say “it was better in my day”, and I hope it was for you.
But this is us, this is how we think and this is what we make with our hands and our hearts and our voices. Do you want to buy a second hand Boss DS2 distortion pedal Gran, I’m saving up for a Big Muff? Yes Gran, it does sound a bit dirty…
That’s a proper quote right there – “everyone deserves and reserves the right to say ‘it was better in my day‘”.
Here’s Behind The Lines, which the band have kindly given us (and you) as a free download.
A quiet/loud, stoppy/starty slow burner of a track, it hints at those mid 90s influences mentioned earlier. “My awkward Valentine!” shouts a singer bursting with angst, as the rest of the band crunch to a close, sparks flying off the guitars like a welder working overtime. It was this track wot got Closer their HAC gig. “Time changes!!!” I wrote on my notes at the time. “Earnest. Serious. They mean it, maaan!” (Even if it was better in my day(!)) Those were my first impressions and they haven’t changed.
Bum Note: Every band has their own ‘greatest hit’ – the song that everyone knows/loves/wants to hear live. What’s yours?
Our communal favourite song is “An Electric Moment of Stunning Confusion.” It’s normally the one we start the set with. It was written by David as an acoustic song a few years ago, just after one incarnation of Closer split up and none of us were in a new band yet. The line “we’re a victim of our own silences” tries to sum up the frustration of that split where we’d got so far with the band but still hadn’t quite got to the point where we could give up our day jobs. We were at that point where we still loved playing music and playing together but going round in circles a bit. So instead of ploughing that emotion into our music we gave up on it, I think we all regret that. When we came to try the song with the band it turned into a pretty heavy beast, even if a melodic one – you could call it Delayed Angst!
Rather frustratingly, after such a build up, the band didn’t send us this track! An acoustic track that morphed into a pretty heavy beast, y’say? Now we can’t wait to hear it…
Closer have very kindly donated another track for download. Fraktions is still played live today, even though the mp3 below is old and perhaps not as derivative of how the band sounds nowadays.
A right royal ramalama of chugging Sabbath riffs, Smashing Pumpkins solos and effects pedals turned to ten, it will have the HAC walls vibrating for a week after they’ve played it.
Closer have an album due in a month or so. Here’s some footage of them doing their thang in the studio:
You can find out more about Closer at all the usual places –
And you can go and see them live….
Closer play the HAC on Friday 21st March as part of a triple bill that also includes The Tripps and Polar Bears In Purgatory. You’ll get in for a fiver. Don’t you dare miss it!