Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Now Time

As the year has progressed, several great singles and EPs have been released for which I have written reviews or should have written reviews.  I’ve waited for many of these bands to go ahead and release new full length albums before offering my thoughts, but several have not yet materialized.  So, over the next week or two, I hope to share my enthusiasm for some great singles that have come along during 2014 that I’ve neglected to share.

Close Lobsters
Kunstwerk in Spacetime 7” EP

Somehow, I mostly missed Scottish band Close Lobsters back in the late 80s, but I didn’t completely miss them.  At some point, I picked up a couple of their EPs used, and I still have their excellent song “Lovely Little Swan” on a bizarre 1990 K-Tel Records “modern rock” compilation called The Edge of Rock that I bought simply for the cheap price and the novelty (I say “bizarre,” because I thought K-Tel had long vanished by that point.  My prior K-Tel collection fresh from TV ads was the wondrous Rock 80 from around my ninth birthday– collecting 1979 “new wave” hits from the likes of The Knack, The Pretenders, Gary Numan, Blondie, The Ramones, and Nick Lowe).  They were renowned from their offering from the legendary C86 NME compilation that launched so many great bands’ careers, but I apparently I always kind of overlooked them.  So, how did I end up with this brand new 7” single by a band that has been dormant for about 25 years?  Not sure how, but it doesn’t matter, because I love this record!!

 K-Tel "The Edge of Rock"

 K-Tel Rock 80 TV commercial

“Now Time” begins with some solid guitar interplay and then a building drum surge before launching into a perfect mid-tempo summer time driving song.  The song fills me with great anticipation and excitement.  Lead singer Andrew Burnett’s well worn voice urges us to get out and get some stuff done, while reminding us that “history is about to be made.”  It’s absolutely spine-tingling, especially during the bridge when the music begins to blur into a dramatic wash before a perfectly simple guitar solo.  Even at six plus minutes, this epic feels concise and begs for repeated listening.

The B-Side, “New York City in Space,” seems to be a story about their first visit/tour to the US, as they explore New York City in the heat of the summer (“the heat this time of year is ridiculous”).  As with “Now Time,” this song is addictively catchy.  For a band that hasn’t recorded for so long, they sound really tight and both of these songs are fully realized and exactly in line with the best of what I remember from the past – if not better. 

Speaking of their past, it seems that I may need to rectify my oversight and look a little deeper into their two late 80s albums, while I hope that they are considering more new music.  What a welcome return!

Note: This record is titled as an EP, but only has two songs.  There is a digital download card that comes with some remixes of these songs, which is a nice bonus, but not my cup of tea.  Stick with the original versions.

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