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Nutopians – Claustrophobia EP

One of the year’s surprise finds, Nutopians are back with a slick new EP. The father and son act take their influences from alternative eighties rock, particularly post-punk and new wave. We caught them in January with the album What Does The Future Sound Like? That itself was a brave title, practically inviting cynics to answer with ‘Like the past, mate’. Nothing wrong with that. We could argue the same about Turn On The Bright Lights, but tell me this – which old records sound the same as Interpol’s dashing debut? How many are better?

Title track ‘Claustrophobia’ is the lead track and best track of the three. The duo sound like a doomier Teardrop Explodes here until fizzing lead guitar pulls them in an arena-rock direction. It’s a very strong song. Again I’m put in mind of The Domino State, just as I was at times with the album review. Yes, there’s a dash of The Chameleons, but it’s early, spiky Chameleons rather than the Mancunians’ dreamier side. White Lies are another fair reference point.

Tears (be)For Fears were in a Mod band before they wanted to rule the world. We’re in that territory on ‘A Life Worth Living’, which has distinct Mod leanings. It also feels somewhat Australian (Think Icehouse, Expatriate.. etc) due to its clean, open-vowelled and euphoric chorus, but I’m sure there’s a Northern Soul Boy hiding behind these alt-rock proclamations.

‘The Final Walk (Demo version)’ is the surprise – a moody, meandering instrumental (save for some angelic oohs and aahs). We’ve not seen this type of thing from Nutopians to date. Fans of The Cure, For Against, Comsat Angels might appreciate this one as I found it ever so slightly Goth. However it is a fitting closing track to a great little EP. As a signpost for the next album these three songs are highly encouraging.

Nutopians Bandcamp

Album review