Tag: Fire Records

I’ve managed to spill a copious amount of virtual ink covering the legendary and influential  Los Angeles-based psych rock act and JOVM mainstays The Dream Syndicate. Now, as you may recall, the band, which originally formed way back in the early 80s — currently featuring founding members Steve Wynn (guitars, vocals), a critically applauded singer/songwriter and solo artist in his own right, and Dennis Duck (drums), along with Mark Walton (bass), Jason Victor (lead guitar) and Green On Red’s Chris Cacavas (keys) —has managed to split up and reunite a few times throughout their extensive history, including their most recent one in 2017.

Since 2017, The Dream Syndicate have released a run critically applauded albums that have seen the acclaimed psych outfit at their most uncompromising — while boldly pushing their sound in radically new directions.

2020’s The Universe Inside marked the first time in their long and storied history in which every song was conceived and written as a collective whole. Sonically, the album’s material was unlike anything they’ve done together or even individually. The material draws from each individual member’s eclectic interests and passions — in particular: 

  • Dennis Duck’s love and knowledge of European avant garde music
  • Jason Victor’s love of 70s prog rock 
  • Mark Walton’s experience in Southern-fried music collectives
  • Chris Cacavas’ interest in sound manipulation 
  • Wynn’s love of 70s jazz fusion. 

The Universe Inside‘s six songs came from one completely improvised recording session in which the band came up with 80 continuous minutes of soundscapes. “All we added was air,” Wynn explains in press notes. Aside from vocals, horns and a touch of percussion here and there, every instrument is recorded live as it happened.

The Dream Syndicate’s fourth post-reunion effort and eighth overall, Ultraviolet Battle Hymns and True Confessions is slated for a June 10, 2022 release through Fire Records. Continuing to push their sound and approach in new and varied directions, Ultraviolet Battle Hymns reportedly sees the band adding British glam, German prog rock, krautrock and Brian Eno-like ambient music interwoven into their psychedelic, melodic hues. The album also features guest spots from longtime collaborator and friend, The Long Ryders‘ Stephen McCarthy and Marcus Tenney, who contributes sax and trumpet to the album’s songs. 

So far I’ve written about two of the album’s singles:

  • Where I’ll Stand,” the album’s expansive fist single, which begins with a twinkling, synth-led prog rock intro that nods at Trans Europe Express before morphing into a circular chord progression centered around twangy, reverb-drenched guitars and a slow-burning groove.  “It feels like an attempt–via the lyrics and the circular chord progression–to impose some kind of order and logic on a world that was severely lacking in both respects at the time,” The Dream Syndicate’s Steve Wynn explained in press notes. 
  • Damian,” a brooding and slow-burning song that may arguably be their most AM Rock-inspired song of their extensive — and still growing — catalog: Centered around a shuffling groove, the song has a California beach sheen but with a gritty and lurking sense of evil and unease.  Fleetwood Mac meets Steely Dan, perhaps? 


The Emil Nikolaisen co-written “Every Time You Come Around” is a melodic and crafted bit of psych pop that feels like a subtle refinement of The Dream Syndicate’s classic era sound but paired with fuzzy, feedback laden guitars and achingly wistful lyrics. The new single has “a sense of arrogance and fragility in the lyrics which Jason [Victor] had the good sense to fully obliterate with a tsunami of fuzz guitar” the band’s Steve Wynn says.

The JOVM mainstays will be embarking on a lengthy international tour to support the album. The tour includes a September 17, 2022 stop at Bowery Ballroom. Check out the rest of the tour dates below. 

TOUR DATES

11 Jun: Loaded Festival, Oslo, Norway

27 Jul: Soda Bar, San Diego, CA, US
28 Jul: Lodge Room, Los Angeles, CA, US
29 Jul: Harlow’s, Sacramento, CA, US
30 Jul: Cafe Du Nord, San Francisco, CA, US
15 Sep: City Winery, Philadelphia, PA, US
16 Sep: City Winery, Washington D.C., DC, US
17 Sep: Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY, US
18 Sep: Crystal Ballroom, Boston, MA, US

07 Oct: Auditorio, Murcia, Spain
08 Oct: Loco Club, Valencia, Spain
10 Oct: Universidad, Cadiz, Spain
11 Oct: El Sol, Madrid, Spain
12 Oct: Sala BBK, Bilbao, Spain
14 Oct: SPAZIO 211, Rivoli, Italy
15 Oct: Locomotiv, Bologna, Italy
16 Oct: Magnolia, Milan, Italy
18 Oct: Lafayette, London, UK
19 Oct: Petit Bain, Paris, France
20 Oct: Het Depot, Leuven, Belgium
21 Oct: De Zwerver, Leffinge, Belgium
22 Oct: Ekko, Utrecht, Netherlands
10 Nov: Turf Club, Minneapolis, MN, US
11 Nov: Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL, US

New Video: JOVM Mainstays The Dream Syndicate Share Kaleidoscopic Visual for Brooding “Damien”

Over the past couple of years of this site’s almost 12 year history, I’ve managed to spill a copious amount of virtual ink covering the acclaimed and legendary Los Angeles-based psych rock act and JOVM mainstays The Dream Syndicate

Originally formed back in the early 80s, The Dream Syndicate — currently founding members Steve Wynn (guitars, vocals), a critically applauded singer/songwriter and solo artist in his own right, and Dennis Duck (drums), along with Mark Walton (bass), Jason Victor (lead guitar) and newest member Green On Red’s Chris Cacavas (keys) — have managed to split up and reunite a few times throughout their extensive history, including their most recent reunion in 2017, which began a run of critically applauded, forward-thinking, mind-bending releases.

2020’s The Universe Inside marked the first time in their long and storied history in which every song was conceived and written as a collective whole. Sonically, the album’s material was unlike anything they’ve done together or even individually. The material draws from each individual member’s eclectic interests and passions — in particular: 

  • Dennis Duck’s love and knowledge of European avant garde music
  • Jason Victor’s love of 70s prog rock 
  • Mark Walton’s experience in Southern-fried music collectives
  • Chris Cacavas’ interest in sound manipulation 
  • Wynn’s love of 70s jazz fusion. 

The Universe Inside‘s six songs came from one completely improvised recording session in which the band came up with 80 continuous minutes of soundscapes. “All we added was air,” Wynn explains in press notes. Aside from vocals, horns and a touch of percussion here and there, every instrument is recorded live as it happened.

The Dream Syndicate’s fourth post-reunion effort and eighth overall, Ultraviolet Battle Hymns and True Confessions is slated for a June 10, 2022 release through Fire Records. Continuing to push their sound and approach in new and varied directions, Ultraviolet Battle Hymns reportedly sees the band taking on British glam, German prog rock, krautrock and Brian Eno-like ambient music interwoven into their psychedelic, melodic hues. The album also features guest spots from longtime collaborator and friend, The Long Ryders‘ Stephen McCarthy and Marcus Tenney, who contributes sax and trumpet to the album’s songs. 

Where I’ll Stand,” the album’s expansive first single clocked in at a little over five minutes begins with a twinkling, synth-led prog rock intro that nods at Trans Europe Express before morphing into a circular chord progression centered around twangy, reverb-drenched guitars and a slow-burning groove.  “It feels like an attempt–via the lyrics and the circular chord progression–to impose some kind of order and logic on a world that was severely lacking in both respects at the time,” The Dream Syndicate’s Steve Wynn explained in press notes.

“Damian,” Ultraviolet Battle Hymns‘ second and latest single is a brooding and slow-burning song that may arguably be their most AM Rock-inspired song of their extensive — and still growing — catalog: Centered around a shuffling groove, the song has a California beach sheen but with a gritty and lurking sense of evil and unease. Fleetwood Mac meets Steely Dan, perhaps?

“I wanted to write and record something that would have sounded good coming out of the Radio Shack speakers in my Gremlin. . . the sense of mystery and time time was enhanced by Marcus Tenney’s era-perfect sax and trumpet work and then sweetened by a backing vocal arrangement Stephen McCarthy brought to the session,” The Dream Syndicate’s Steve Wynn says.

Created by Mike Bourne, the accompany video for “Damien” is a kaleidoscopic and lysergic trip. Tune in and zone out, y’all.

Over the past two or three years of this site’s almost 12 — 12! — year history, I’ve managed to spill a copious amount of virtual ink covering the acclaimed and legendary Los Angeles-based psych rock act and JOVM mainstays The Dream Syndicate.

Tracing its origins back to the early 80s, The Dream Syndicate currently features founding members Steve Wynn (guitars, vocals), a critically applauded singer/songwriter and solo artist in his own right, and Dennis Duck (drums), along with Mark Walton (bass), Jason Victor (lead guitar) and newest member Green On Red’s Chris Cacavas (keys) have split up and reunited a couple of times throughout their history, including their most recent reunion in 2017, which began a run of critically applauded, forward-thinking, mind-bending releases.

Their most recent album, 2020’s The Universe Inside marked the first time in their long and storied history in which every song was conceived and written as a collective whole. Sonically, the album’s material was unlike anything they’ve done together or even individually. The material draws from each individual member’s eclectic interests and passions — in particular:

  • Dennis Duck’s love and knowledge of European avant garde music
  • Jason Victor’s love of 70s prog rock
  • Mark Walton’s experience in Southern-fried music collectives
  • Chris Cacavas’ interest in sound manipulation
  • Wynn’s love of 70s jazz fusion.

The Universe Inside‘s six songs came from one completely improvised recording session in which the band came up with 80 continuous minutes of soundscapes. “All we added was air,” Wynn explains in press notes. Aside from vocals, horns and a touch of percussion here and there, every instrument is recorded live as it happened.

The Dream Syndicate’s fourth post-reunion effort and eighth overall, Ultraviolet Battle Hymns and True Confessions is slated for a June 10, 2022 release through Fire Records. Continuing to push their sound and approach in new and varied directions, Ultraviolet Battle Hymns and True Confessions reportedly sees the band taking on British glam, German prog rock, krautrock and Brian Eno-like ambient music interwoven into their psychedelic, melodic hues. The album also features guest spots from longtime collaborator and friend, The Long Ryders‘ Stephen McCarthy and Marcus Tenney, who contributes sax and trumpet to the album’s songs.

Clocking in at a little over five minutes, the album’s first single “Where I’ll Stand” is begins with a twinkling synth-led prog rock into before morphing along a circular chord progression featuring subtly twangy, shimmering and reverb-drenched guitars and a slow-burning motorik-like groove. Interestingly enough, the end result is a song that sounds like an atmospheric and contemporary take on their sound that simultaneously hints at CAN and Berlin Trilogy-era Bowie.

“It feels like an attempt–via the lyrics and the circular chord progression–to impose some kind of order and logic on a world that was severely lacking in both respects at the time,” The Dream Syndicate’s Steve Wynn says.

New Video: Scotland’s Close Lobsters Release a Meditative Visual for Jangling “Godless”

Formed back in the mid 80s, the Paisley, Scotland, UK-based alt rock/indie rock act Close Lobsters— Andrew Burnett, Bob Burnett, Tom Donnelly, and Stewart McFayden — first came to prominence with “Firestation Towers,” a track that appeared on NME‘s C86 compilation.

Shortly, after the release of that compilation, the Scottish alt rock quartet signed to Fire Records, who released their debut single “Going To Heaven To See If It Rains” in October 1986. Their second single “Never Seen Before” was released in April 1987 and the single managed to establish the act as one of the region’s leading emerging indie bands at that time. Building upon a growing profile, the band went on to release two albums: 1987’s Foxheads Stalk This Land, which was released to praise from Rolling Stone, who wrote that the album was “first-rate guitar pop from a top-shelf band. Close Lobsters could have been just another jangle group, but they have a lot more going for them than just chiming Rickenbackers” — and 1989’s Headache Rhetoric. 

By 1989, the band’s popularity on US college radio led to an appearance at that year’s New Music Seminar and an extensive Stateside tour. After successful tours across the UK, Germany, the States and Canada, the band went on an extended hiatus. Fire Records released the Forever, Until Victory! singles retrospective in October 2009. (Interestingly, the retrospective’s title is derived from the reputed last sign-off in a letter Ernesto “Che” Guevara, who wrote to Fidel Castro, “¡Hasta la victoria siempre!”)

After a 23-year hiatus, the members of the Scottish indie rock act reunited to play 2012’s Madrid Popfest, Glasgow Popfest and Popfest Berlin, which they followed up with 2013’s NYC Popfest.  May 2014 saw the band playing Copenhagen Popfest, and the release of the first batch of new recorded material from the band in 25 years, that year’s Kunstwerk in Spacetime EP, which featured the attention grabbing lead single “Now Time.” After releasing one more single in 2015, the band went back on hiatus.

Released earlier this year through Last Night From Glasgow and Shelflife Records in the States, Close Lobsters’ John Rivers-produced Post Neo Anti is the first full-length album from the Scottish indie rock band in 31 years.  Recorded between 2014 and 2019, the Roberts-produced album finds them collaborating with the producer of their 1986 debut — and in some way the long-awaited album is a sort of return to form. “Godless,” Post Neo  Anti’s second and latest single is a slow-burning and jangling bit of guitar pop that brings Starfish-era The Church to mind — in particular, Hotel Womb.”  Interestingly, the song manages to capture the desperate, exhausting, infuriating and uncertain air of our moment, but with the hopes that we’ll able to tour our morally bankrupt world into a better, fairer place. 

The recently released video is part lyric video, and part stylish and brooding mediation and part live performance footage with an eerie quality. Throughout there’s this sense of absence and longing. 

New Video: Watch the Members of Rising Aussie Indie Act RVG Star in a Troma Films-like Horror Film

Over the past few months, I’ve written a bit about Adelaide, Australia-born Melbourne, Australia-based singer/songwriter Romy Vager and her rapidly rising band RVG. Now, as you may recall Vager was a teenaged goth kid runaway who left her hometown of Adelaide and headed to Melbourne. Upon her arrival in her new city, Vager joined her first band Sooky La La, a project that crafter material centered around anger and discordance — and as a result, the band was largely misunderstood, routinely cleared rooms and never found much of a following. Eventually, the band split up. But it resulted in Vager committing herself to write songs that people would actually listen and listen to by attempting to do what countless other aspiring songwriters try (and hope to) do: match feelings of alienation, loneliness, heartbreak and feeling misunderstood with introspection, melody and rousing and soul-stirring hooks and refrains. 

For a while, Vager wound up living at The Bank, an erstwhile recording, rehearsal and performance space that took over an old bank building in Preston, Australia, a suburb about six miles from Melbourne. The Bank was a scene unto itself, featuring a handful of bands that would soon become acclaimed, including Jalala, Gregor and Hearing, who at the time, all played, practiced and lived there. Living in such a space, surrounded by musicians, who were constantly working and honing their work was profoundly inspiring to Vager. 

In September 2015, Vager launched a tape of solo material that hadn’t actually been pressed and landed her first solo show at The Bank’s downstairs performance space. For her live solo debut, Vager recruited Drug Sweat’s and The Galaxy Folk’s Angus Bell, her Bank neighbor, Gregor’s and Hearing’s Reuben Bloxham and Rayon Moon’s Marc Nolte to be a one-off backing band. But once they began playing together, they all realized — without ever having to say it aloud — that they needed to continue as a band. Shortly after that show, they initially formed as Romy Vager Group before shortening it to RVG.

RVG’s 2017 full-length debut A Quality of Mercy was recorded live off the floor at Melbourne’s beloved and iconic rock ‘n’ roll pub, The Tote Hotel. Initially released to little fanfare — no press releases, no music videos, no press photos of the band or any significant press push, the album’s material was heavily inspired by The Go-Betweens, The Soft Boys and The Smiths and prominently featured Vager’s passionate and achingly vulnerable vocals. Much to the band’s surprise, their full-length debut received attention and praise across their native Australia and elsewhere. The album caught the attention of Fat Possum Records, who signed the band and re-issued A Quality of Mercy, which led to a much larger profile internationally.

Building upon a growing profile, the band then went on world tours with Shame and Kurt Vile. Late last year, the band released the Victor Van Vugt-produced single “Alexandria.” Written as a response to the immediate aftermath of Brexit and Trump, the song is appropriately urgent and ardent. Featuring jangling guitars, pummeling drums, a rousingly anthemic hook and Vager’s earnestly plaintive and gravely howl, the song finds the band gaining a subtle studio sheen but without scrubbing the grit and honesty that has won them attention.

COVID-19 pandemic has put the entire known world on an uneasy and indefinite hiatus but the band still hopes that this year will be a momentous year for them: earlier this year, they signed to Fire Records, who will be releasing their highly-anticipated sophomore album Feral on April 24, 2020 throughout the world — excluding Australia and New Zealand, where the album will be released through their longtime label home Our Golden Friend. Immediately after signing to Fire Records, the band released Feral’s second single, the devastatingly earnest and heartbreaking ballad “I Used to Love You.” Centered around a universal tale of suffering in the aftermath of an embittering breakup, the song’s proud and defiant narrator reclaims herself and her life — but while acknowledging that something important to her and her life story had to come to an end. 

Feral’s second and latest single “Christian Neurosurgeon” is a decidedly New Wave-like song centered around shimmering and jangling guitars, enormous and rousingly anthem hooks and Vager’s guttural growl — and while sonically recalling Heaven Up Here-era Echo and the Bunnymen, the song as Vager explains in press notes is “a very simple song about cognitive dissonance. It’s not just a song about bagging Christianity, it’s more about how we have to hold onto certain ideas to be able to survive, even if they’re not true.” 

Directed by Lazy Susan Productions’ Caity Moloney and Tom Mannion, the recently released video for “Christian Neurosurgeon” is a twisted Troma Films-like nightmare that features each of the band’s members: Romy Vager playing a brain that refuses to die, Marc Nolte as a demented and mad scientist and Reubean Bloxham and Isabele Wallace as his faithful and unquestioning assistants. 

“The video was very fun to make for us and hopefully the band too — even though we put them in some pretty weird situations,” Lazy Productions’ Caity Moloney and Tom Mannion recall in press notes. “We just embraced the song and went full surgical horror, using hand developed black and white 16mm film so the video feels almost as lo fi as the medical operation RVG are running in it. It was shot by our DOP Jesse Gohier-Fleet, who did an amazing job making every frame as spooky as possible. We’ve watched the video a lot and still laugh every time so thanks to RVG for bringing the comedy gold!”

New Video: Melbourne’s RVG Releases an Intimate Visual for Aching and Anthemic “I Used To Love You”

Romy Vager is an Adelaide, Australia-born singer/songwriter, who as a teenaged goth kid runaway left her hometown, drawn to Melbourne, Australia. Upon her arrival in Melbourne, Vager joined her first band, Sooky La La, a project that crafted material centered around anger and discordance. Sooky La La were misunderstood, never found a following and routinely cleared rooms. Eventually, the band split up and as a result, Vager committed herself to write songs that people would actually like and want to listen to by doing what countless other aspiring songwriters hope to do: match feelings of alienation, loneliness and feeling misunderstood to melody, introspection and enormous, soul-stirring hooks and refrains. 

For a while, Vager was living at The Bank, an erstwhile recording, rehearsal and performance space that took over an old bank building in Preston, Australia, a suburb about six miles from Melbourne. The Bank was a scene unto itself, featuring a handful of bands that would soon become acclaimed, including Jalala, Gregor and Hearing, who all played, practiced and lived there. Naturally, living in an enormous space surrounded by musicians, who were constantly working and refining their work was profoundly inspiring to the Adelaide-born, Melbourne-based singer/songwriter. 

Back in September 2015, Vager launched a tape of solo material that hadn’t actually been pressed and landed her first solo show at The Bank’s downstairs performance space. For her live solo debut, Vager recruited Drug Sweat‘s and The Galaxy Folk’s Angus Bell, her Bank neighbor, Gregor’s and Hearing’s Reuben Bloxham and Rayon Moon‘s Marc Nolte to be a one-off backing band. And as the story goes, once they began playing together, they all realized — without having to say it aloud — that they needed to continue as a band. Shortly after that show, they initially formed as Romy Vager Group before shortening it to RVG.

RVG’s 2017 full-length debut A Quality of Mercy was recorded live off the floor at Melbourne’s beloved and iconic rock ‘n’ roll pub, The Tote Hotel. Initially released to little fanfare — no press releases, no music videos, no press photos of the band or any significant press push, the album’s material was heavily inspired by The Go-Betweens, The Soft Boys and The Smiths and centered by Vager’s passionate and achingly vulnerable vocals. Much to the band’s surprise, their full-length debut received attention and praise across their native Australia and elsewhere — and as a result of a rapidly growing profile, the band caught the attention of Fat Possum Records, who signed the band and re-issued A Quality of Mercy, which led to a much larger profile internationally. 

Building upon a growing profile, the band then went on world tours with Shame and Kurt Vile. Late last year, the band released the Victor Van Vugt-produced single “Alexandria.” Written as a response to the immediate aftermath of Brexit and Trump, the song is appropriately urgent and ardent. Featuring jangling guitars, pummeling drums, a rousingly anthemic hook and Vager’s earnestly plaintive and gravely howl, the song finds the band gaining a subtle studio sheen — without scrubbing the grit and honesty that has won them attention. 

2020 will be a momentous year for the rising Melbourne-based band. They recently signed to Fire Records, who will be releasing their highly-anticipated sophomore album Feral on April 24, 2020 throughout the world — excluding Australia and New Zealand, where the album will be released through their longtime label home Our Golden Friend. And to mark this exciting new era for the band, they recently announced Feral’s second single, the devastating and heartbreaking, anthemic ballad “I Used to Love You.” Simple and sincere, the song tells a familiar and fairly universal tale: a narrator, who proudly reclaims themselves and their lives in the aftermath of an embittering breakup. The song’s narrator may be proud and defiant; but there’s the sad acknowledgment of something deeply important coming to an end, iAnd while firmly establishing the band’s reputation for crafting an enormous, heartfelt hooks centered around personal experience, the song manages to recall Concrete Blonde’s “Joey” and R.E.M.’s “One I Love.” 

Directed by documentarian and narrative filmmaker Tom Campbell and shot by Edward Goldner, the recently released video for “I Used To Love You,” is a cinematic and intimate video featuring a contemplative Romy Vager, who at points sings the song’s lyrics directly at the viewer — and with the same earnestness and heartache as the accompanying song. “There’s a lot of power in reclaiming yourself but also a lot of sadness. I adore Tom’s video and feel like it captures the energy of the song perfectly,” RVG’s Romy Vager says in press notes. 

Formed back in the mid 80s, the Paisley, Scotland, UK-based alt rock/indie rock act Close Lobsters — Andrew Burnett, Bob Burnett, Tom Donnelly, and Stewart McFayden — first came to prominence with “Firestation Towers,” a track that appeared on NME‘s C86 compilation.

Shortly, after the release of that compilation, the Scottish alt rock quartet signed to Fire Records, who released their debut single “Going To Heaven To See If It Rains” in October 1986. Their second single “Never Seen Before” was released in April 1987 and the single managed to further cement their reputation as one of the region’s leading emerging indie bands at that time. Building upon a growing profile, the band went on to release two albums: 1987’s Foxheads Stalk This Land, which was released to praise from Rolling Stone, who wrote that the album was “first-rate guitar pop from a top-shelf band. Close Lobsters could have been just another jangle group, but they have a lot more going for them than just chiming Rickenbackers” — and 1989’s Headache Rhetoric. 

By 1989, the band’s popularity on US college radio led to an appearance at that year’s New Music Seminar and an extensive Stateside tour. After successful tours across the UK, Germany, the States and Canada, the band went on an extended hiatus. Fire Records released the Forever, Until Victory! singles retrospective in October 2009. (Interestingly, the retrospective’s title is derived from the reputed last sign-off in a letter Ernesto “Che” Guevara wrote to Fidel Castro, “¡Hasta la victoria siempre!”)

After a 23-year hiatus, the members of the Scottish indie rock act reunited to play 2012’s Madrid Popfest, Glasgow Popfest and Popfest Berlin, which they followed up with 2013’s NYC Popfest.  May 2014 saw the band playing Copenhagen Popfest, and the release of the first batch of new recorded material from the band in 25 years, that year’s Kunstwerk in Spacetime EP. The EP’s lead single “Now Time” received quite a bit of attention. After releasing one more single in 2015, the band went back on hiatus.

Slated for a February 28, 2020 release through Last Night From Glasgow and Shelflife Records in the States, the john Rivers-produced Post Neo Anti is the first full-length album from the Scottish indie rock band in 31 years.  Recorded between 2014 and 2019, Close Lobsters’ forthcoming album finds the band collaborating with the producer of their 1986 debut — and in some way, the album reportedly is a long-awaited return to form. Now, as you may recall, last month I wrote about “All Compasses Go Wild,” Post Neo Anti‘s first single, an anthemic bit of jangle pop that brought Starfish-era The Church and The Smithereens to mind. Continuing in a similar vein, the album’s second and latest single, the slow-burning, jangle pop “Godless.” And while managing to recall The Church — I think of “Hotel Womb” off Starfish in particular — the song captures the desperate and uncertain times we currently live in, and the hopes that many of us have for a better, fairer place. (Will it happen? That I don’t have a ton of faith in. But there’s work to be done.)

Formed back in the mid 80s, the Paisley, Scotland, UK-based alt rock/indie rock act Close Lobsters — Andrew Burnett, Bob Burnett, Tom Donnelly, and Stewart McFayden — first came to prominence with “Firestation Towers,” a track that appeared on NME‘s C86 compilation.

Shortly, after the release of that compilation, the Scottish alt rock quartet signed to Fire Records, who released their debut single “Going To Heaven To See If It Rains” in October 1986. Their second single “Never Seen Before” was released in April 1987 and the single managed to further cement their reputation as one of the region’s leading emerging indie bands at that time. Building upon a growing profile, the band went on to release two albums: 1987’s Foxheads Stalk This Land, which was released to praise from Rolling Stone, who wrote that the album was “first-rate guitar pop from a top-shelf band. Close Lobsters could have been just another jangle group, but they have a lot more going for them than just chiming Rickenbackers” — and 1989’s Headache Rhetoric. 

By 1989, the band’s popularity on US college radio led to an appearance at that year’s New Music Seminar and an extensive Stateside tour. After successful tours across the UK, Germany, the States and Canada, the band went on an extended hiatus. Fire Records released the Forever, Until Victory! singles retrospective in October 2009. Interestingly, the retrospective’s title is derived from the reputed last sign-off in a letter Ernesto “Che” Guevara wrote to Fidel Castro, “¡Hasta la victoria siempre!”

After a 23-year hiatus, the members of the Scottish indie rock act reunited to play 2012’s Madrid Popfest, Glasgow Popfest and Popfest Berlin, which they followed up with 2013’s NYC Popfest.  May 2014 saw the band playing Copenhagen Popfest, and the release of the first batch of new recorded material from the band in 25 years, that year’s Kunstwerk in Spacetime EP. The EP’s lead single “Now Time” received quite a bit of attention. They released another single in 2015 before going back on hiatus.

Slated for a February 28, 2020 release through Last Night From Glasgow and Shelflife Records in the States, the john Rivers-produced Post Neo Anti is the first full-length album from the Scottish indie rock band in 31 years.  Recorded between 2014 and 2019, Close Lobsters’ forthcoming album finds the band collaborating with the producer of their 1986 debut — and in some way, the album reportedly is a long-awaited return to form. “All Compasses Go Wild,” Post Neo Anti‘s first single is an anthemic bit of guitar-driven jangle pop that immediately brings Starfish-era The Church and The Smithereens to mind.