Saturday, November 7, 2009

Close Lobsters - demos and such

This October saw the release of an exhaustive Close Lobsters singles compilation Forever Until Victory, on the British Fire Records label. Phenomenal news to me, as I have long considered the Glasgow, Scotland quartet to be by far and away the most consistent, sublime, and gifted outfit ever to arise from the UK' s indie jangle-pop, C86 movement nearly a quarter century ago. Their two proper albums, 1987's Foxheads Stalk This Land, and Headache Rhetoric from the following year have recently been made available via digital outlets, but viscerally indelible 12" and compilation appearances like "Going to Heaven to See If It Rains" and "Firestation Towers," are essential components in completing the Close Lobsters picture.

To help fill out that image even further is this 20-track collection of CL demos (and possibly radio session appearances) that span the course of their brief mid-to-late '80s tenure. Not sure who curated this set, but I had the good fortune of finding it on Soulseek a few years ago. The bitrate is a mere 128 kbps, and the material was obviously sourced from cassettes, but nevertheless these embryonic (and often low-fidelity) sketches lay out a compelling and often fascinating blueprint for a score of sprite, ringing pop tunes that would eventually be given the full studio treatment. A couple tracks here would be retitled for official release ("Don't Worry" = "Violently Pretty Face"; "Promise Me Back" = "In Spite of These Times"), and furthermore, there may be an entirely unreleased song or two in this collection as well (I'll leave you to figure that out for yourself). If this isn't enough to whet your appetite, you can also obtain the contents of a CL radio session from '88 that I made available on Wilfully Obscure earlier this year. To bone up further on these guys, their Wikipedia entry is quite useful in addition to their above linked Myspace domain.

BTW, if any of you are hankering for music in a similar, albeit modestly updated vein, I can recommend you none more suitable than New York's very own The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, and their thoroughly engaging self-titled album.

01. Don't Worry (later Violently Pretty Face)
02. Firestation Towers
03. Just Too Bloody Stupid
04. All the Little Boys and Girls
05. Promise Me Back (later In Spite of These Times)
06. Pimps
07. D.D.R.I.N.
08. A Prophecy
09. I Take Bribes
10. Sewer Pipe Dream
11. I Kiss the Flower in Bloom
12. What is There to Smile About?
13. Mirror Breaks
14. From this Day On
15. Loopholes
16. Lovely Little Swan
17. Knee Trembler
18. Nature Thing
19. Say Hello, Wave Goodbye
20. Float On

12 comments:

Greg Schaal said...

Rapidshare says you must be a Premium Member in order to download.

Greg Schaal said...

Ah, nevermind now it says it's cool to dl.

cino_pacino said...

hey my friend, thanx for this post. i must say i am cl fan since their first sigle and this compilation is like the icing on the cake!!!

Francis said...

Weirdly "Violently Pretty Face" seems to get renamed back to "Don't Worry" on the new CD compilation! If you haven't already snapped it up - I posted the Peel Session a couple of months back on Frankosonic as it was rebroadcast on 6Music

spavid said...

Cool, thanks for the Peel link! Am checking out your blog now.

gabbazoo said...

thanks for this, i was unaware of the singles comp, which I have just ordered...

Gonzalo said...

I'm glad to find this entry, I was the one who made this compilation and uploaded it to soulseek years ago. Never thought it would end up on a blog so it's pretty cool.
I highly recommend this band to everyone, they were just incredible, their two albums ands all of the singles and b-sides are a must-have. They reunited early this year and played three gigs with the original line-up and hopefully will play again next year. You should follow them on Facebook if you like their music.

Gonzalo said...

I'm glad to find this entry, I was the one who made this compilation and uploaded it to soulseek years ago. Never thought it would end up on a blog so it's pretty cool.
I highly recommend this band to everyone, they were just incredible, their two albums ands all of the singles and b-sides are a must-have. They reunited early this year and played three gigs with the original line-up and hopefully will play again next year. You should follow them on Facebook if you like their music.

Average White Dad said...

Any chance of re-upping this collection this week? I'll be featuring some Close Lobsters on the radio this Friday and would love to hear these.

spavid said...

The link has been updated.

Average White Dad said...

Thanks!

rob gronotte said...

Link dead again. :(