Close Lobsters – Headache Rhetoric

What I Think of When I Think of This Artist (part 2)

I suppose this was the sort of thing I would have had to asked a store to special order back in the day, which means I would have had to have known it even existed first. Thank god for the internet. Whatever you may want, you can find it – it may not be cheap, but it will probably be available. I can’t even think of the number of albums I’ve been able to listen to only because of the web.

What I Think of This Album

This is a noticeably darker album than the debut. The guitars aren’t heavier, but they are a bit thicker and less sprightly. The melodies are still there, of course, as is the energy, but it all seems a bit . . . not cheerful. The band seems like they are troubled instead of having fun.

The song titles – “Got Apprehension”; “My Days Are Numbered”; “Gutache”; and “Knee Trembler” – don’t do much to elevate the mood. Neither do lyrics like “I’m so happy I could slit my wrist / . . . This is where the universe ends / . . . This is where the whole world crumbles.” But it remains a very good – possibly excellent, if given time – album.

The guitar solo towards the end of “Gut Apprehension” is fantastic, and “Gulp” comes close to sounding like the more carefree work on the first album. “Knee Trembler,” for all its dark imagery, is thrilling and tuneful, and “Lovely Little Swan” ends up being near-anthemic. There are times where the sound reminds me of the Hoodoo Gurus.

Production duties were in the hands of Phil Vinall (Auteurs, Aztec Camera, Elastica, Gene)

The Best Thing About This Album

“Gulp”

Release Date

1989

The Cover Art

Very difficult to make out; gloomy and morose and just weird. Is that Edgar Allen Poe?

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