When they finished recording their debut LP, Everybody Knows, in 2003, Scoville Unit had yet to play their first show. A curious musical and social experiment, the members had gathered at a home studio in New Haven, CT on the first day of a blizzard that kept them stranded and cut off from the outside world for over a week. They descended into the basement equipped with a bottle of Maker’s Mark and all the instruments they could carry, intent on making some noise and having some fun. Two days later they were officially a band recording their first album. The songs were being further refined each minute those initial tapes were rolling, and when they finally agreed to wrap up the recording over a dozen sessions later, the band found themselves with an intimate, playful, and surprisingly impressive pop album. Once copies were made and shared, and their close circle of peers treated it as a lo-fi masterpiece, combining the detached sincerity of bands like Sebadoh and Pavement with the lighthearted twee of the Olympia, WA punk scene. The instantly catchy songs were not meant to fester in a basement studio forever, and in the 2 years that followed the album’s release, Scoville Unit was met with resoundingly positive responses from fans as well as both the press and radio community, and they responded by taking the act on the road throughout the US and UK, while gracefully navigating through the throes that confront any young band.
With Closed Universe, Scoville Unit has re-emerged as an even more cohesive rock and roll band, one whose members have developed a unique dynamic and whose delivery is colored by classic songwriters like the Cars, Elvis Costello, the Pixies, and the Smithereens. The markedly solid production of their sophomore release represents a stronger, more unified troupe, firing on all pistons and ripping through a batch of moving rock tunes straight from the heart (and with little regard to the norms and flavors of today's commercial and indie music scenes.)
Kicking off with the saccharine yet bold “Church By The Sea,” “Where Is My
Team,” and “Options”, Closed Universe unleashes a charge of unforgettable gems before slowing down the proceedings and taking the second half of the album into the outer realms. Here they expose a moodier side, with the classic prog styled “Last To Know”, the Floydian soundscape of “Wanting”, the thrashy noise pop of “Something Else”, and the classic 50’s vocalization in “Caroline, Please Be Mine.” Throughout the journey the band runs the gamut of classic rock and punk, all the while maintaining that signature Scoville sound which has already wooed the hearts of scores of elder indie music statesmen. With this album's release, the secret is out; Closed Universe is indeed universal in appeal, and it marks a feisty pop band's coming of age.