Close Lobsters, Kunstwerk in Spacetime

John Everhart

By John Everhart

on 06.02.14 in Reviews

It’s been an odd career trajectory for Scotland’s Close Lobsters. They were certainly given a substantial boon by the inclusion of “Firestation Towers” on the NME’s epochal C86 compilation, while their 1987 debut LP, Foxheads Stalk This Land, solidified their reputation as one of the finest bands to appear on the aforementioned compilation.

The Scottish C86 favorites don’t pander to or rest on their past glories

The Kuntswerk in Spacetime EP, featuring their first new recordings since 1989, is rife with spring-coiled tension akin to Television in their prime. Guitarists Tom Donnelly and Graeme Wilmington ricochet off each other instinctively, particularly on opener “Now Time,” emulating the pure intuit that made the Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd interplay so alchemical.

On “New York City in Space,” frontman Andrew Burnett seemingly reminisces about the band’s first trip to NYC in 1989, as he intones like Michael Stipe on valium, inscrutably referencing the minutiae of gigs and attendant after-hours adventures while thankfully avoiding cheap nostalgia.

But one Burnett lyric rings out as clearly as a church bell on the aforementioned “Now Time” — “My favorite stupid phrase/ Things will never be the same.”