Close-up"We don't really fit into any scene in Atlanta right now," says Brooks Meeks of the Close. "We've only had three shows here so far." Although new to Atlanta stages, the trio has been a working unit for five years with a large Alabama-area following from playing frequent house shows in Auburn.

"That was the scene for original music in Auburn. There were college cover bands that played in the bars, and there were house shows."

Meeks, an Atlanta native, attended college at Auburn University and formed the Close with bassist Dustan Nigro. Soon he became a fixture of the house-party scene, booking shows during three of his four years in college and making friends who would eventually lead the singer/guitarist back to Atlanta.

"Everybody wanted to play our house gigs in Auburn on the way to Atlanta because the kids would just go crazy and everyone had a blast. Everything about the Close comes from the house scene," says the lanky musician. "Our influences, the bands we know, and our friends here in Atlanta." Meeks and Nigro met a band called Swing Ride at one of their early parties. The core of that band became Atlanta's Rent Boys, who are headquartered in a warehouse space called "C-11." Meeks and Nigro now reside and rehearse there as well.

Most of the current sound of the Close is based on elements of bands Meek heard at the parties. A hybrid of indie pop and emo, the Close have managed a unique sound that's not unlike a young version of Firehose. "We are kinda like rock, but without the blues," shrugs Meeks.

The Close are currently rehearsing with new drummer Mike Griffith and should be ready to play more shows in a month or so.

Since rowdy house mates the Rent Boys aren't as active, the "C-11" house is a little sedate these days, but that should change soon as Meeks and friends have plans to record other bands in the cavernous space, including label-mates, Chocolate Kiss.

"I guess we just went from the house party scene to a warehouse party scene," laughs Meeks.

20,000+, the debut album from the Close is out now on Moodswing Records.