Hailing from Orange County, California is COSMONAUTS. These rowdy bros have just released their self-titled album on vinyl for the first time thanks to Permanent Records – beforehand you could only find it on cassette via Burger Records. Now let’s get to it.
To start things off, one of the most important things to remember when listening to this music is to turn the volume knob way up. You’ll understand why only moments after starting the first track. You’ll also shortly understand that these guys have found a sound they’re comfortable with, and in the end it shows through their ability to be dynamic. Songs like “Neon Kids”, “Electric Chemicals” and “T.V. California” make this obviously clear that these guys are capable of great things. Other times, however, songs within the album can leave much to be desired – they don’t exactly pack the same punch you find at other times throughout.
The seven minute monster “Yer So Rad” is one that sticks out – it’s a slower dirge-like jam that appears to be on the edge of destruction for the duration, and although it gains some momentum at times, it never quite breaks off into anything drastically different. Granted not everything needs to be a mind-bending psychedelic assault, but sometimes it’s nice to be thrown a curve ball every once in awhile to mix things up. Then there’s “Stephanie” on the complete other end that sounds like something Spacemen 3 would have done nearly thirty years ago. There’s even a few instrumental jams scattered within, referring to “Our Man Flint” and the oddly titled “((((((((((o))))))))))”, which is one you’re going to have to interpret on your own time.
“T.V. California” is the first noticeably punk-inflected song on the record, as the relentless rhythm never takes a rest. It’s constantly pushing forward with it’s surfy tenancies, which makes for a short but highly satisfying track. The change up in the middle is quite awesome, and it definitely goes a long way in building some promise. “Electric Chemicals” is another wild and rowdy one, with twangin’ guitar leads stuck underneath a messy and abrasive forefront. It’s totally buried in noise, and there’s even some bluesy inflections here and there to mix things up.
Songs like “Dorothy” and “Like a French Assassin” change up in totally weird ways that you never would have seem coming upon first listening. “Dorothy” features crunchy guitar chords that are put through serious beat-downs, and then it morphs into the second half which sounds like a completely new song. “Like a French Assassin” follows a similar path until it totally changes direction a bit before the halfway mark, which just goes to show that these guys can certainly be progressive when they feel like it. This leaves “Neon Kids” as the only track we didn’t really say anything about, but don’t worry because it’s right below for your listening pleasure. In due time we should hear from Cosmonauts again, so please don’t sleep on this stuff – they seem to still have plenty of fresh ideas up their sleeve.
Neon Kids –
Electric Chemicals –
T.V. California –
My Rating: 8/10
Genre/ Tags: Garage Rock, Psychedelic, Lo-Fi, Noise Rock
Cosmonauts s/t: Tracklist:
1.) Neon Kids
3.) Electric Chemicals
4.) Yer So Rad
5.) Like a French Assassin
6.) T.V. California
8.) Our Man Flint