Closure In Moscow's latest album Pink Lemonade is anything but a simple album about someone's feelings. Far from it, in fact. We had vocalist Christopher De Cinque take us on the album's journey, introduce us to its characters in what might go down as our most entertaining track by track to date!
By vocalist Christopher De Cinque
This song introduces the eponymous central character. The intro soundscape is meant to depict the Alchemist mentioned later in this story watching the Fool through his spiffy crystal ball from the forest clearing where he hangs out, pink lemonade bubbling in the cauldron. The song is deliberately very goofy and jaunty with a slightly sinister moment: the dissonant vocal harmonies and guitar chord midway. It paints the picture that the Fool is this hapless, cantankerous space cadet, adrift in a sea of disillusion, reduced to nothing but an automaton following its wiring and pleasure-seeking like a good little domesticated primate. But, as the dissonant moment suggests, there are these acute stabs of anguish and bewilderment. Below the surface there is a gaping chasm of despair, and he wants a quick fix—a fast track to enlightenment because it's “totez” a thing you can obtain like an Xbox 360 achievement.
The Fool hears about this Alchemist, who purportedly has just the thing our Fool is looking for, a mystical cocktail decanted from trans-dimensional pink lemons that offers those who drink it the cheat way into heaven on Earth. The Alchemist doesn't have sinister intentions, but you get a sense early on in the song that what he is offering might not be what the Fool thinks it is. The Fool is too blinded by his thirst, however, so he gulps that shit down. Then shit gets weird. The forest clearing he is standing in dissolves away and he is now swimming through extra spacial dimensions and being confronted by physical manifestations of all the angles of his neuroses. Homie is straight up tripping balls. This is not what the Fool bought into. As he tries to grapple with it, the Alchemist reappears in a new terrifying and awe-inspiring form, revealing the true nature of what he drank. This is also the first omniscient glimpse he gets of Brahmatron, the fifth dimensional, holographic infrastructure of all reality. That permeates all things seen and unseen. Just as the ball tripping reaches a crescendo, the Fool slips through a tunnel of collapsing dimensions to find himself being awoken by a voice. He is piss-stained and laying in a heap in an unfamiliar alley. Was the whole thing a bad acid trip? Was it a fucked up dream in tandem with some sleep walking?
“Tacky Ornamental Slut (Part Of Pink Lemonade)”
The voice that our Fool can hear in his head is that of the Tacky Ornamental Slut, a sultry oracle of sorts, beckoning him toward her so that she may present him with his next trial. He is led to a dingy little jazz bar further down the alley, upon entering he sees her onstage ready to go into another sleazy number. He watches from the back, and as the song goes on it seems as though she is singing directly to him. We tried to imply this aurally with a change in the vocal sound as the percussion turns into crunchy Bjork-inspired fare. Her lack of pretense in the lyrics, basically stating that she is a vapid whore that aims to please, is positively tantalizing to the Fool. As the song ends the fabric of space/time starts glitching around him, and it becomes apparent that he was being sung to directly as the Tacky Ornamental Slut is now enveloping him as he starts phase-shifting through the room into the space between space.
The Slut now reveals herself in her full oracular form: trashy and resplendent, towering over him and rushing through him from all angles as she spits out her psych-bluesy stabs. We felt that would be a good way to punctuate the character shift here, going from the sultry, soothing cheese of the jazz room to being this sassy, bluesy bitch who won't take no shit. She is now asking rhetorically if the character she was playing was really what he wants, because if so, she has someone for him that fits the bill perfectly. Enter Verina, the 17-year-old, time-traveling Byzantine empress,caught up in a furious plastic surgery arms race to be validated and desired. She has just acquired radical new neoprene augmentation, which is all the rage in 2037, and she has come back to present day to have an edge on the competition and be the girl that all the fellas will want a piece of. What could possibly compete with neoprene stapled to her lips and ass? The oracle tells the Fool to go claim his “prize,” but to be wary of Satan's cloud looming over his head as he dips into her brine.
“Seeds Of Gold”
The most feel good, danceable song of the record is also, I guess, the most melancholic. The Fool has exhausted his use for poor little Verina, and in turn she has grown bitter and resentful. The sentiment in this song is one of being aware deep down that resentment and bitterness are born of the Fool's own callousness, but still wanting to shift the blame, to be infallible and make it about the the barren winter in her mind regardless of who wasn't sowing the seeds. The Fool rambles on as a fool does, restless and slipping further into an existential funk.
“That Brahmatron Song”
The record’s existential lament. The motif throughout this song is sound; everything in reality can be weighed up in terms of sound or vibrations. Although it's all “Brahmatron's song,” you wouldn't call it a god's kind of music. In other words, Brahmatron ain't no deity; it's simply the nature of all things in all configurations. Midway through the song the Fool taps into this universe's “super-duper computer,” the node that all universes have that relays back to the layer of Brahmatron that exists beyond the lower physical dimensions. Some otherworldly urge compels him to take to the node's slots with a screwdriver and root around in defiance of the whole pointless mess. Shit goes Tron and sucks him in. The “atmospheric” sounds between the two acts of this song is him traveling through a strange non-euclidean vortex, heading for the Grand Central Brahma-Station. Well, defiance be damned; our Fool learns what he feared. Brahmatron is neither benevolent or malevolent. Brahmatron just yawns at us all as it dreams of all possibilities. The Fool watches as the dreams spew from a great holographic fountainhead, out into tendrils that connect to all the super-duper computer nodes of all realities, and every possible configuration of every possible reality at all points in time all at once. He has to get back to before he ever drank the Pink Lemonade. He cannot come to terms with the fact that all possibilities existing essentially render all choices and free thought undone and invalid. He sees the forest where he began through one tendril! The very same clearing where he met the Alchemist yesterday? Last month? 100,000 years ago? He breaks away from the electric buzz of the Brahmatron's snore and filters back down into a more familiar reality. But of course there has to be a twist.
“Dinosaur Boss Battle”
It is indeed the same forest clearing, just from an alternate timeline and different configuration of the universe. One where dinosaurs were never wiped out and they kept evolving to possess a human level of intelligence. Just when the Fool thinks that shit couldn't get any weirder, he overhears a Tyrannosaurus in a swampy trench dictating (those pesky little arms are no good for writing) a letter to his beloved “Swamp-Ass” about the bitter war he is fighting against surfing cyborgs that hunt them for their bones as trophies. This dino-soldier spots the Fool, but he poses no threat so he offers this “little monkey” some sound advice, to carry on home and get out of this place. There's a war going on! This song is pretty much a critique on being too extreme when it comes to shunning technology. The dinosaurs are staunch Luddites; they refuse to use the cyborg's own technology against them. This is ultimately their undoing. Had they harnessed some of the tech being used against them, they would have had a fighting chance, but once the tempo drops at the end of the song, the Cambrian bomb is also dropped on the dinosaurs. I feel as though demonizing technology is silly when it's all about the application. It's not a case of “if you can't beat them, join them,” but more like “join them, to learn how to beat them.” Or at least beat the parts that are dehumanizing and/or detrimental to the cultural psyche. I just can't make that sound zippy and succinct though. The Fool takes a back seat in this song. When the bomb finally goes off, the Fool has found that universe's node so he can hop back through, but unfortunately he isn't quite far away enough to escape the blast fully. He finds himself spat through a wash of white noise, down an offshoot of a tendril, floating through a black sky of nothing. What ever happened to Verina anyway?
What if Verina wasn't just some vapid husk to use physically? This thought dawns wholly on the Fool for the first time. He gave her just enough of what she needed to get what he wanted. In retrospect he now truly feels Satan's vile cloud was looming over his head that whole time. Unfortunately it has taken being wholly alone and stranded, quite literally, in the middle of nowhere, to now reflect on the fact that there must have been a myriad of misfortunes and painful experiences that created Verina's desperate, attention-seeking identity. Behind all that was someone in need of validation, someone with a torrent of complex things happening underneath a neoprene augmented surface. Maybe he is just reaching out at anything now in desperation. He tries to somehow connect to her through the white noise that he surfaced out of to be where he is now. Meditating on her image cast in a new light, he begins to dissolve and dissipate. Something keeps him corporeal however—the sound of church bells in the distance. In this sadness, church feels like a really good idea.
“The Church Of The Technochrist”
Perhaps now our fool can be saved! He enters the vestibule of this hip digital place to congregate. He is greeted by a very charismatic preacher who informs him that he can indeed be absolved of all sins and woes. And it's so easy! All he needs to do is testify and offer up his soul in service of the Technochrist, to plug in and upload his mind to the holy mainframe. All sins deleted, all sadness reprogrammed, his own private universe to frolic in, guilt free, merged with all other participants in a transcendental union. (Charger not included, additional $29.99.) As the upload ceremony draws near, it all seems a little too easy; the congregation is a little too eager for the Fool to surrender himself. He reluctantly goes along with the process until shit gets a little bit more maniacal then he bargained for. Halfway through the brain upload, the Fool aborts in horror at what he sees himself integrating with. Of course unplugging a hard drive without properly ejecting it can have dire consequences. Due to the way time folds in on itself fractally during the upload, what seemed like a matter of seconds was actually over 4,000 years. The Fool, once again, is spat out into a place of isolation.
The Fool fears that this time it's the end of him. The church was a last-ditch effort at some kind of salvation, some kind of quick fix that would absolve him, but now he is stuck in the far future where everything is a desertified wasteland. This time, there are no nodes, nothing that could be a get-out-of-jail-free card. He wanders for days, lamenting that every step of his twisted journey has been a step further away from what he has been looking for. He embarked upon this delusional quest and now has nothing to show for it other than a serious case of sunstroke and miserable sense of despair. He finally succumbs to his dehydration and collapses. He is no longer afraid of death; he let's go and welcomes it. A smile springs across his parched lips, and as he slips away, his mind skips around the absurdity of it all; it's hilarious. What was he ever so hung up on? He starts floating away from himself, and it is now joy that is welling up. The final threads of light are extinguished, and just as this happens, his eyes open up again.
What the shit?!? The Fool finds himself back in the alley. This whole thing was some dastardly trip after all! Turns out he needed to drink the Pink Lemonade to realize he never needed it in the first place. This paradoxical revelation amuses him to the point of joyful tears. Then he is struck down by a blinding flash. Before him, like a phoenix from slutty ashes, Verina is before him. A mesmerizing metamorphosis has occurred though. She is the “enlightenment” he was seeking personified. When something like “enlightenment” or the “secret to life” is offered in all kinds of shallow stupid ways, it's nothing more than a painted up whore to lure us in falsely. When you stop seeking it and come into it as it has been there all along, that whore takes on a new, brilliant platinum sheen, and it's true form is realized. The Fool rejoices and looks down from his new vantage point to see that heaven was below after all.
If “Happy Days” is the end of the movie, this song is the credits rolling, a lighthearted reflection over the overall sentiments of the record. And what better way to do that then through the majesty of 8bit music and cute Japanese vocals. The end of this takes a sinister, fourth-wall-breaking turn however. We pull back a layer, revealing three girls talking about the album itself and how much they enjoyed it. As this goes on, we pull back another layer to hear the same three girls talking about listening to the end of the album where there are three girls listening to it, so essentially the whole narrative is reduced to the fact that it's only three girls listening to a record. We pull back yet another layer to hear the same three girls feeling pretty miffed that the whole album is a cop out and that it's people listening to people listening to a record. This is quite frankly idiotic. The girls then realize they are hearing themselves and freak out. This repeating feedback loop now aware of itself has made the fabric of their reality unstable. As it starts to get out of hand, it is quickly terminated and we hear two strange alien voices. They laugh at the whole thing, these lower realities mere playthings. They are the malignant, virus like entities that reside in the space between the Brahmatron's tendrils, hijacking universes as they see fit. Our universe is a part of the Brahmatron like all universes, and they feed off these feedback loops. The album is just an album, the resolution is just a feeling, and the brahmatron yawns while the worlds glitch and respawn. alt