Headache Rhetoric (1st Issue)
Album Released: 12 Jun 1989
Darker-hued and more aggressive than the Close Lobsters' much sunnier early releases, Headache Rhetoric is an aptly named album full of roiling guitars, foreboding lyrics, and an increasing sense of tension. Yet even on the most lyrically distressing songs, like the self-explanatory "My Days Are Numbered," there's a dedication to classic pop structures that gives the song a Kinks-like shuffle driven by Robert Burnett's bouncy, McCartney-esque bassline. Similarly, "Got Apprehension" sets a cheerful little ditty about death by decapitation to a sunny "sha-la-la" chorus. By the end of the album, with a powerful remake of "Skyscrapers of St. Mirin" from the 1989 EP What Is There to Smile About and the extended neo-psychedelic freakout "Knee Trembler," there's an almost oppressive sense of doom to the album; set off by the prettiness of most of the melodies and the hazy jangle of the guitars, the overall effect is somewhat akin to Love's Forever Changes, minus the orchestrations.