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Saturday July 13 2024
  6:30PM doors -- music at 8:00PM
 •••  ALL AGES
$25 in advance / $30 at the door
Closure in Moscow
closureinmoscow.com
 between soul and pop rock to avant-garde and post-rock
Toehider
toehider.com
 progressive rock, pop, hard rock, metal and folk



Closure in Moscow
-from Melbourne, AU
-Members: Mansur Zennelli
Michael Barrett
Salvatore Aidone
Duncan Millar
Christopher de Cinque

Closure in Moscow. They’re back.
It’s been 9 years since the sprawling prog rock concept record ‘Pink Lemonade’ - 13 years since the feisty up tempo prog punk of ‘First Temple’ and 14 years since the earnest post-hardcore
of their debut albumette ‘The Penance and the Patience.’

In the years hence, those milestones have been etched in fans minds as tent poles of the band’s career, which has seemingly lurched on a wide spectrum from post to pillar.

But to insiders, the band’s evolution has been a natural process, borne of their desire to express every element of their creativity.

Now, in a further extension of that evolution, 12 new songs comprising the album ‘Soft Hell’ will finally be released in 2023.

Where ‘First Temple’ yearned and ‘Pink Lemonade’ churned, ‘Soft Hell’ settles in as perhaps the most mature and studiously crafted album of their career.

Whilst the singles ‘Better Way’ and ‘Primal Sinister’ are nods to the sounds and attitudes band’s previous records, once you hit the jungle of sounds on the groove-laden ‘Absolute Terror
Field’, the down tempo ballad ‘Keeper of the Lake’, the Prince-soul-rock of ‘Holy Rush’ and the industrial soul of ‘Don Juan Triumphant’ – you realise, this is entirely new territory for Closure
in Moscow. The hooks, lyricism and songcraft take the forefront, whilst the bombast and technical proficiency are channelled into impossibly tasty grooves, guitar & bass solos dripping with
juicy goodness and drum fills presented as morsels on an album size degustation menu. The understated musicianship on this material reveals itself on repeated listens.

Don’t get it wrong though – there’s plenty of shred on display. Whether it’s Michael Barrett’s guitar fire vs Salvatore Aidone’s octopus drumming in ‘Better Way’ or the game of ‘where the
1?’ in the chorus of ‘Holy Rush’ or the polyrhythmic maelstrom of album opener ‘Jaeger Bomb.’ Do yourself a favour and keep your finger on the replay button once you hear Barrett’s
inspired playing at the end of ‘Lovelash.’

It’s not a concept album. Or is it? Frontman Christopher de Cinque is as cryptic as ever on tracks like Primal Sinister. But overall, it’s their most honest and transparent album to date. If
you know the story of these songs, it hits even harder. But it’s not hard to be drawn in on just the first listen.

As the band themselves say:
It’s the last 9 years distilled down to 50 minutes. We’ve put blood, sweat and years into this, and fully believe when you hear these tracks, the wait will have been worth it. We know you
have to take our word on that for the time being, but the wait is almost over.

The new album is called “Soft Hell.”

Getting comfortable with chronic discomfort caused by the choices that fears and trauma lead you to make. This is life in a soft hell. There are enough distractions to stave off facing up to
it, you can keep yourself in denial to avoid it, and things can just keep ticking along. Life becomes a fever dream of creature comforts and time killers, floating further into a lake of fire.
People come along to pull you out, but they too get burned when you feel too stuck to climb with them.

Thank you to everyone that had been patiently waiting for new music. Everyone involved with working on this went so above and beyond because they believed in it, and we hope you hear
what they heard too.

The genesis of the record began in late 2015, by which time the band had already assembled over 50 song ideas. Despite the theft of the band laptop containing much of this material whilst
on tour in London, the band entered 2016 with the sincere intent to ‘release an album by the end of the year.’

But – life gets in the way. Whilst new management from Bird’s Robe and touring opportunities with Coheed and Cambria and The Fall of Troy kept momentum going, other obstacles emerged.
Guitarist Michael Barrett relocated to Sydney, 900km away from the band’s ancestral home of Melbourne. De Cinque and Zennelli were in the midst of career reinventions which took time –
the economic reality of so many artists in today’s environment.

2017 saw the band making steady progress, having culled the song list to an ‘A’ and ‘AA’ list of tracks for the prospective album and needing only a couple more to fill the record. Touring
continued, joining Protest the Hero & Mew for further tours in Australia, then planning to work further on the record late in the year. Except that when the unmissable opportunity to tour
with Dillinger Escape Plan on their final ever Australian tour came along, well, you just don’t say no to that.

As manager Mike Solo explains ‘I tried every trick in the book to hurry things along. I even gave them a deadline to finish and play two new songs on the tours with Mew and Dillinger –
and they did. So there were these songs I thought were completely done, but then a month later I’d hear a new demo of the same song - and it would be better! Somehow! They were
fixated on the details, but consistently proved that time was worth it.’

As 2018 beckoned, the goal to finish and record the album was set. But then arose the invitation to join their pals Protest the Hero on their ‘Fortress’ anniversary tour. After 9 years away
from North America, it was again, too good an opportunity to let pass, to play for an audience who had been waiting patiently for so many years. After so much heartbreak on the road in
years past, the tour reinvigorated the band’s enthusiasm for touring abroad. It was exhausting, and De Cinque had lost his voice by the end, but it was a success.

And then – life. Well, new life! Babies, weddings, everything else. After an Aussie winter & summer break, still riding high on their recent wave of vigour – the songwriting continued in bits
and bobs, with members meeting in twos and threes to chip away at the slowly fossilising songs.

Entering 2019, the band reconvened with a familiar face aboard the production team: Andrei Eremin.

Having worked with the band in the final stages of ‘Pink Lemonade’, the acclaimed producer and fellow Melbourne resident had gone on to incredible success with the likes of G Flip, Hiatus
Kaiyote and Tash Sultana. Eremin reconnected with the band after hearing a demo of ‘Better Way’ playing on De Cinque’s Twitch stream and conversations ensued from there.

Quickly, the aforementioned ‘AA’ list was solidified and pre-production began in earnest. Eremin painstaking picked apart every riff, lyric and pluck of the strings to ensure that through every
revision, the most impactful elements of the material remained. Eventually the genesis for all 12 tracks was laid, apart from final instrument arrangements and lyrical work.

By the time 2020 rolled around, drum tracking began at Holes & Corners studio for ‘Better Way’ and other tracks soon followed, whilst the band made regular pilgrimages to Eremin’s
studio for a mixture of pre-production and tracking overdubs.

Just as the process picked up momentum – that pandemic thing happened. Melbourne was plunged into one of the world’s longest lockdowns, with social and non-essential visits prohibited.
Despite their music being essential listening for those in the know, the Government verdict was in: the album would have to wait.

During this time, the band stayed productive with remote studio sessions and pre-production meetings via livestreams and a private discord serve to exchange ideas.

As soon as things opened up again in 2021, tracking continued and the band gained steam, with further sessions planned to finally finish off the recording process.

Until yet again – another 6 months of lockdowns and further restrictions on gatherings in Melbourne, which completely decimated the momentum built so far.

During this time, Eremin commenced and completed his move into the now-iconic Carriage Studio – a custom built recording and mixing studio located in a tram on top of a building on
Collingwood’s Easey Street in Melbourne. Yes you read that right, it’s a tram on a roof.

The band also began to collaborate with Becki Whitton aka aphir, on vocal production, lyrics and eventually featuring on ‘Jaeger Bomb’ and ‘Absolute Terror Field’ with smouldering
performances of her own.

By the time things opened up in 2022, it had been a full 8 years since ‘Pink Lemonade.’ The inertia from months of lockdowns was draining.

But the band and Eremin had renewed focus and enthusiasm to finally push to the finish line. And as always, it came from the fans.

After being out of print for many years, the eventual repressing of the band’s catalogue on vinyl during 2021 saw an unprecedented response, with copies selling out in a matter of days.
Despite the momentous delays caused by the world vinyl supply shortage, the support and patience from their fans was further inspiration to finally envision where their album would be
heading.

With Eremin intending to relocate to the United States by late 2022, the tracks were finalised and mixed throughout the July to December period, whilst the band workshopped new material
to perform live for the first time in 4 years on tour with labelmates sleepmakeswaves.

By 2023, the album was finally mixed & mastered. Within weeks of the final master, the band announced the record to fans, along with long lead pre-orders (so as not to be burned by vinyl
delays yet again) and the first single and video for ‘Better Way.’ Filmed by some guy called Rowey, it shows frontman Christopher De Cinque revealing the first glimpse of the band in years,
in a stark and understated clip.

Collaborating with former Thank You Scientist drummer Faye Fadem on the video for ‘Primal Sinister’ followed soon after (a connection made on the Protest the Hero tour years prior).
Blending live filming by some guy called Rowey and Fadem’s quirky animations and editing, the clip features the full band alongside an array of characters and easter eggs.

Just as evocative is the artwork produced by Pablo Lineros. After his art was introduced to the band via Instagram, they finally connected during late 2020 and early 2021 to begin discussing
concepts for the record, already titled ‘Soft Hell.’ One of Pablo’s original art pieces formed the basis for the album cover and a thematic template was formed.

Over the course of 2021, 2022 and 2023, the band and Lineros collaborated closely as each set of song lyrics were completed. Finally, the artwork was finalised in early 2023 alongside the
music.

It’s been a long wait for fans and a long period of introspection and evolution for Closure in Moscow. But the next phase of the band promises to be one of their most enthralling, as they
make plans to share the record, revisit fans around the world and – hopefully – take less than 9 years until the next new music comes around.

What’s next? Does it matter? We’re all going to die eventually anyway.

Just dive into Soft Hell and let yourself wallow there for a while.



Toehider
-from Melbourne, AU
-Toehider is kind of like a band, it's actually more like a collab project between musician and illustrator. Mike and Salt have been working more or less the same way for years; bouncing
cooked story ideas back and forth, drawing what we hear and listening to what we see. Well, that's one way of putting it anyway.

As for the name, Mike's great great grandfather was a cobbler, a cordwainer, a shoemaker. Some people are confused by the name. Not me though, I like it.

Most fans would probably tell you that the "What Kind of Creature Am I?" album is a good starting point - Not me though, I'd probably recommend "I Like It!".