Tonic and Nickelback are just two of the bands Closure attempt to ape on their self-titled debut album, as they try to take bits of every successful modern rock band and fuse them into something that sounds remotely plausible. Unfortunately for them, it’s a tactic that doesn’t come off.
Whilst the word imitation might be high on their A&R’s list, the words creativity and originality obviously weren’t, as this album doles out post-grunge rock by numbers in a breathtakingly generic and derivative fashion. There are at least a few good songs in evidence, but unless you have not had access to MTV or a radio for the past two years, you will have heard it all before.
The booming rock of “Look out Below” helps Closure burst out of the blocks in spectacular style. It’s a song that contains traces of Nickelback and others, but is not completely swamped by those influences. Unfortunately, it’s all down hill from here as further investigation reveals that it remains the standout cut on the entire album.
“Aftergflow” is spookily reminiscent of the sound Tonic found success with on the title track of their excellent album Head on Straight, and while it’s a fairly decent song, it suffers painfully from sounding like a Tonic b-side. Similarly, “Oxygen” is Closure’s version of Nickelback’s “How You Remind Me”, but sounds like a shameless attempt to mimic the very structure of the song, from its delicate, melodic verses to the chugging stop-start chorus employed so successfully on the Canadian’s smash-hit single. Plus vocalist Brian Howes sounds like a poor man’s Chad Kroeger.
Predictably, discovering which song Closure are trying to imitate next eventually becomes a tiresome exercise, and songs like “What It’s All About”, which don’t immediately recall any of Closure’s peers, are just plain dull. Lyrically, it’s all uninspiring stuff too, as this lyric from “Whatever Made You” expertly demonstrates: “‘Cause I found out you’re the one fucking around”. Such relationship-related rants are ten-a-penny here, but are frequently joined by turgid heartfelt ballads like “Fragile” and “Crushed” — a fine example of a song that seems to push all the right buttons radio requires but is ultimately forgettable.
Just when the depressing homogeneity of tracks like “Live Again”, “I Don’t Mind (The Rain)” and “Lie to Me” threatens to blur the lines between each individual song, closing track “You Are My Hatred” dulls the pain somewhat by deviating from the path of commercial imitation with a hard-hitting slab of rock that displays a glimpse of Closure’s individuality. Closure might have so much better if this type of song had been its template, but instead we are left with a repetitive album that makes you think Nickelback aren’t so bad after all, which is some statement to make.
“We’ve been influenced by many people, but we follow no-one,” says Howes in the band’s press bio. But anyone who pays even a cursory listen to Closure cannot possibly come to the same conclusion.