Produced by Sean Slade and Paul Kolderie, the team accountable for Radiohead's Pablo Honey, the Bosstones' Let's Face It, and the Go-Go's album where they're all dressed like the Virgin Mary on the cover, The Optimist retains the jubilation and sparkle of New Collisions' new-wave phase. There's more of a post-punk wallop, and keyboardist Casey Gruttadauria plays more parts on the organ. I wouldn't go so far as to call it a darker direction, but the lyrics are not quite as hopeful as those on Invisible Embraces. Lines like "Burning bridges keep us warm and cast away the misinformed," from "Coattail Rider," suggest that the sassy party of New Collisions has teetered between sassy and aggravated. Or maybe they've just become more realistic. When they were at the center of all that publicity and name dropping, they were bound to meet some jerks.

The good news is, they intend to cease production of anti-jerk music. "I think we've gone from feeling like a really cool band to loving our band and loving what we do," says Scott Guild.

NEW COLLISIONS + SPIRIT KID + THE CHARMS | Great Scott, 1222 Comm Ave, Allston | October 9 at 9 pm | $10 | 21+ | 617.566.9014 or greatscottboston.com

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