Close Lobsters

Post Neo Anti: Arte Povera in the Forest of Symbols

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Scottish indie pop prototypes Close Lobsters were part of the first wave of C-86 bands, but they drew a lot closer to the wistful jangle of the Sarah Records roster than the oftentimes distorted pop of some of their better-known contemporaries. Over a brief time span in the mid- to late '80s, the group released multiple singles and two full-lengths of brightly melodic rock, finding the midpoint between inward-looking pop bands like the Church and Love's dimly lit existential psychedelia. Without ever officially breaking up, the Lobsters became dormant around the end of the '80s, resurfacing in 2012 to play some festival dates and release a handful of new songs. Post Neo Anti: Arte Povera in the Forest of Symbols is the band's third full-length album and first in over three decades. From the first strains of album opener "All Compasses Go Wild," it's uncanny how seamlessly the Lobsters pick up right where they left off. While the gated reverb and sometimes dated production of their early albums has been traded in for an updated sound, the group's excitable energy and bittersweet pop sensibilities sound almost identical to those of their younger selves. All four original bandmembers regrouped with producer John Rivers (who produced their 1986 debut LP), and they put the new songs together between 2014 and 2019. While there are hints at maturation on more-serious tracks like "Godless" or the rainy pop of "Wander Pts. I & II," the majority of the album rushes by with the same spring-like breeziness that defined the band's earlier catalog. "Let the Days Drift Away" is a lighthearted three-chord romp that taps into Lou Reed's rock & roll basics and filters them through the hopeful lens of '80s college rock. Up-tempo rockers like "Johnnie" keep Post Neo Anti... from being so reflective or poetic that it becomes sleepy. With decades between gigs and five years between when the tape started rolling and the album was finished, Close Lobsters are clearly in no rush to get where they're going. This unhurried energy carries through on the album, as the band dial in ten new songs as bold and interesting as the ones they delivered in 1986.

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