That most eccentric of bands, the Soft Boys, two albums and done apart from the inevitable reunion. A distinct obsession with crustaceans and Syd Barrett, however any band with a bit of whimsy gets labelled with the Barrett tag.
There is however a thread of weird obsessive stalkerliness pervading the whole album that makes the listener a little uncomfortable. 1980 was a paranoid year and the herky jerky psychedelia of the Soft Boys is a perfect reflection of the time. They are not the whimsical Barrett-a-likes touted by the lazy thinkers, they are more the Arthur Lee and Love freaks taking you to the darker side of the psychedelic experience. The lyrics are disquieting enough to keep you edgy and the themes are messed up enough to make you squirm and the delivery by Hitchcock is maniacal enough to make you a bit concerned and if like tonight you are playing it in the dark the claustrophobic sense will make you look over your shoulder to make sure you are not being watched.
The overriding themes that are sticking in my mind right now:
teddy boys and girls
rats and ivy
Like all the best records it sticks with you.