Release Date: Aug 16, 2011
Record label: Polyvinyl
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
Just as the hippest music fans wait in sweaty, block-sized lines to buy that prized limited edition 7” on Record Store Day, the most gracious bands in the music industry usually dole out the choicest goods on the most wonderful time of the record-buying year. But, unless I’m missing something, no band has yet to center their career around the holiday—that is, until the reformation of post-hardcore pioneers Braid, one of the most beloved (and, sadly, overlooked) trailblazing emo acts of the late ‘90s. Inspired by the collective spirit brought on by Record Store Day, the quartet decided, in late 2010, to record their first batch of new music since their 1998 landmark, Frame and Canvas, and release it on the special occasion.
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.
After a 12-year absence, Braid returns with a brief new EP, Closer to Closed, and it certainly shows the changes time brings. This is a much more tuneful sound from the band—miles away from the ragged The Age of Octeen or even their more melodic last record, Frame and Canvas—that puts them somewhere between their tangled post-hardcore roots and Death Cab-esque power-pop. The run of minor-chord riffs in the verse of “The Right Time” straightens out into a bracing chorus, and “You are the Reason” could be a mid-tempo slog, but its buoyed nicely by warm pianos.
Seminal 90’s emo-core band Braid broke some hearts when they hung up their guitars back in 1999. But 2011 found the band back in the studio laying down their new EP, Closer to Closed. Though traditionalists may find the album too different from Braid’s older material, on the whole, the EP is an enjoyable listen for present-day fans of the bands that followed in their footsteps.
We were the new Nathan Detroits. We assumed everything while Ariel danced in her room and took off her clothes. We were at their last show where Bob Nanna cried and maybe we did, too. Sure, this is a composite sketch, but we repped Braid to the fullest back when emo meant something. Of course, that ….