We Will Overcome

Close Your Eyes

Victory, 2010

http://http://www.victoryrecords.com/closeyoureyes

REVIEW BY: Paul Hanson

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 12/06/2011

Eleven years ago, I was playing drums in a band. We were rehearsing cover songs when the bass player threw out the idea that he would like to do originals and write songs that would categorize us as a Christian band. Eleven years ago, I stomped the life out of that idea by not acting upon it. I never spent an ounce of energy on the notion. Eleven years later, that band is just a smile on my face when I watch a VHS tape of a rehearsal. I often think that if that band could have somehow played music like Close Your Eyes plays their music, I would have been all in. I like the aggressiveness that Close Your Eyes has as they assault their instruments and bring their faith to the forefront of their lives.

Close Your Eyes borrows a lot from the hardcore genre. If you’ve heard Sick of It All or even Agnostic Front, you’re in the same ballpark as this group. The drums are bombastic assaults on the senses and the vocals are equally intense. The band doesn't really have a standout musician as all the instruments collapse into each other. "Digging Graves" is an example of how the material goes from a fast beat to a half-time beat with the drummer transitioning from section of the song to another with a snare fill. "Song For The Broken" is a slower song that features a guttural vocal style toggling with a clean vocal style. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The lyrics are inspiring. It has added a new dimension to my faith to listen to this band and that’s no small feat. A simple lyric like “With every breath we take / Let our lives proclaim / The promises that we made to you” speaks volumes to me. Close Your Eyes encapsulates my journey of faith. It is no less impactful to hear the proclamation “Don’t leave me here alone / Because I need you” during “Friends Are Friends Forever” immediately after a dizzying guitar riff. The message in “Wake Up!” is drilled home in a short “It is not enough to be silent / And to never make a sound.” Another stellar track is "Something Needs to Change." Lyrics like "It's wrong to say / Your hearts won't change / As long as you are here." These lyrics speak to me.

As I become more familiar with the genre, “Christian music” is slowly transforming in my mind. No longer is it the wimpy and simplistic music I always thought it was. In my mind, the drums in the genre were always a basic drumbeat, the vocals were borderline tolerable, and the lyrics were dripping with “you should be a better person” messages, which I just didn't want to hear. This genre always rubbed me the wrong way. Close Your Eyes came into my life for a reason. They are a Christian band. They wear their faith on their sleeve and they are, happily, nothing like the preconceived idea of the genre in my mind.

Rating: A

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