Of course I’m passionate about music, or I wouldn’t be writing for an indie music blog (no, the salary and stock options are not sufficient by themselves). But some genres and bands extract an extra measure of my passion. And in the upper strata is the Close Lobsters. The Paisley, Scotland band issued two albums and an EP of psychedelic/jangle pop in the latter half of the ’80s. Their songs were excellent, with a sound that may be described as The Clean/The Bats/R.E.M. gone psychedelic with the addition of big college rock guitar hooks. Although they were considered by many to be a C86 band, their sound was at the more muscular end of that roster, and there is nothing twee about the band or their catalog. For whatever reasons the members couldn’t agree to continue, and the production and touring stopped in the late ’80s or early ’90s. In 2009 the excellent singles compilation Forever Until Victory ! The Singles Collection was released (I listen to it regularly), but otherwise the Close Lobstersremained silent. Then in 2012 they reformed for some festivals and concerts. For us fans, that wasn’t the desired new music, but at least the band was back, and we always could hope.
And sometimes good things happen to those that wait. Via the good folks at Shelflife Records, the Close Lobstersare releasing their first new music in over two decades, Kunstwerk in Spacetime. Consisting of the “Now Time” and the jangling “New York City in Space”, the record makes clear that the guys haven’t lost any of their magic. Buoyed by a driving rhythm and classic guitar hooks, the lead track slides easily into the top tracks ever recorded by theClose Lobsters. B-side “New York City in Space” triumphantly plays in the dreamy, jangle pop playground that this band help define. You listen, you smile, you press repeat. Close Lobsters are still energetic, still melodic, still urgent — there is nothing about this EP that suggests nostalgic reunion.
The digital downloads are available now, but the vinyl may not be read to ship for another couple of weeks. However, since the physical version is limited to 500 copies, I suggest that you not delay. These songs might be available on an album in the future, but given the 20 plus year wait, do you want to risk it?