J. Razor (bass/vocals), "Smokin" Jack Flash (drums) and Pete Normal (guitar/vocals) are Close To Normal. Apparently the band was on a twenty-year hiatus before releasing a six-song self-titled EP Close To Normal.
This EP contains short, raw, simple rock songs. The songs are comparable to punk songs (The Ramones, The Buzzcocks) from the late ’70s and ’80s as well as a band like Guided by Voices. There is a simplicity that is simultaneously appealing and familiar. The draw of the music is the vocals and I'm perfectly fine with that. These songs revolve around verse and choruses that have three or four chords while the bass and drums support the guitar.
This isn't the most technically demanding music in the world. Let’s just say this isn't a prog rock band. In the end rock and punk can get away with that because it's often all about the delivery.
The EP starts with “None Of The Above” and suffice it to say if you enjoy this song I don’t think there is any way you won’t enjoy this rest. Do you hear that crunchy guitar? Do you like the way it sounds? Good because that's the tone you will get for the remainder of the EP.
The songs on this album are what the youth used to go see in concert just a couple of decades ago. You don’t get these type of bands as often today that feel cathartic, visceral and above all feel like they are about having fun.
If there was ever a reason not to analyze individual songs I’d say this is it. Close To Normal is an EP you can just play and let it ride. None of the songs felt like head and shoulders above the rest and that makes for a smooth ride. Recommended.
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