ALBUM: Close Your Eyes – Empty Hands And Heavy Hearts

Release Date: October 25th, 2011
Label: Victory Records
Website: None available


Close Your Eyes sure know how to blend pop-punk with post-hardcore to create a decently catchy song, however, previous album ‘We Will Overcome’ was widely criticised for being a bit lifeless. However, new full-length ‘Empty Hands And Heavy Hearts’ is an overall more energetic and much more crisp listening experience, which is visible from the get go and even more so with second track ‘Empty Hands…’, probably the most energetic track from the band to date.

The problem for Close Your Eyes is that they have a very similar sound to A Day To Remember, a band who appear to have almost created their own genre by fusing pop-punk with hardcore and in turn have made it almost impossible for any other band to follow suit with this style. Shane “BooBoo” Raymond‘s vocals are comparable to those of Pierce The Veil‘s Vic Fuentes, but slightly rougher and slightly less distinctive. However, ‘Erie’ packs some very impressive vocals, both from Shane and some beautiful harmonies with Brett Callaway. The vocals are the major change from CYE‘s previous material; the screaming is far less prominent and the clean vocals have much more energy.

Closer ‘Heavy Hearts’ is a completely different kettle of fish altogether, complete aggression but with a catchy hook. ‘Valleys’ is a definite stand-out too alongside ‘Heavy Hearts’, showing just how much more energetic the band are and how much closer to pop-punk they are steering. However, the poignant lyrics “Is there any point in trying to change / No matter what I do, it always stays the same”, may indeed just describe this band perfectly.

‘Empty Hands And Heavy Hearts’ is a very decent album and Close Your Eyes are no schmucks, but there does just feel like there is something missing; there is still a slight lack of energy, although the improvement was vast, however, Close Your Eyes may just be suffering from living in the shadow of A Day To Remember. Fans of Close Your Eyes will love this album and anyone who was on the fence will probably be won over if they hear it. However, there’s just that missing ingredient that you can’t put your finger on.

Written by Gary Cassidy