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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Music Reviews »

Permalink New Album from Russian band Los Kosmos

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This topic was automatically created to discuss the news story New Album from Russian band Los Kosmos.

Welcome to sg101! Very glad you're here.

This is Noel. Reverb's at maximum an' I'm givin' 'er all she's got.

To be honest I wasn't going to listen because of the masks... but there is some really nice stuff here!

https://loskosmos.bandcamp.com/album/los-kosmos

Site dude - S3 Agent #202
Need help with the site? SG101 FAQ - Send me a private message - Email me

"It starts... when it begins" -- Ralf Kilauea

Brian wrote:

To be honest I wasn't going to listen because of the masks... but there is some really nice stuff here!

https://loskosmos.bandcamp.com/album/los-kosmos

It's one of the most creative albums of 2018, and a lot of fun.

Looking for new surf bands to record, play and promote.
Sharawaji Records
Surf Rock Radio

One of those bands with a bit of an overactive social media presence.... that actually ends up being really good

Storm Surge of Reverb: Surf & Instro Radio

I’m listening for to the first song now and digging what I hear. There’s a Bass VI, so that’s a huge plus, in and of itself. I’ve long felt that the Bass VI is misunderstood and not always properly utilized. I’ve always seen it as a Bass first and foremost, with a versatility that goes far beyond the electric bass, lending itself both to plectrum playing and utilization of the extended upper range. It’s a real treat to see one used in a Surf band.

I may post a longer review in a few days. I’m not on my Mac at the moment, but the next time I am, I’ll buy a copy and import it to iTunes, with a track by track review to follow.

While I love what I’ve heard so far, I have to say that the masks strike me as a bit much. I realize that any band can benefit from having a certain “look” which makes them stand out, but these masks, in my humble opinion, detract.

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.
My Guitar WebSite
Dead Thread

Nicely done! I dig it, especially V Jope Fantik. That tune has some killer organ on it.

Matt "tha Kat" Lentz
Otto and the Ottomans: 2014-2015
The Coconauts surf band: 2009-2014
www.theamazingcoconauts.com
Group Captain and the Mandrakes 2013
http://www.gcmband.com/
The Surfside IV: 2002-2005, 2008-2009
the Del-Vamps: 1992-1999, 2006-2007
http://www.dblcrown.com/delvamps.html

I grew up in the height of the Cold War. Had you told the 10 year old me that I would someday be writing a friendly review of a band from Moscow I would have called you a liar, and probably a few other things as well. But times change and I’m truly glad that we have the opportunity to hear music from sources we never could have dreamed of 40-50 years ago. Without further ado, here is my review of:

Los Kosmos

At the outset, let me state two strong biases.

First off, I like small groups with a more open sound. In my own playing, I love to explore what can be accomplished musically with three musicians. There are negatives to this, trio music does not always work, but when it does work, as it does with Los Kosmos, the results can be impressive.

Secondly, the Fender Bass VI is one of my favorite instruments and I laud the use of this hybrid which can function as a Bass, an electric cello (picked, not bowed) and even provide some triads in its upper register. Not to mention the fact that it’s a Bass with a whammy bar.

Disclaimers aside, I will jump right in by stating that the overall musicianship is quite good. Everyone in the band obviously knows their craft and express their respective talents well. In order for a trio to flourish, the members must all cooperate and define their roles carefully. One of the things I look for is the handoff point, where one instrument comes to the end of a phrase and the supporting instruments step forward to take up the slack at just the right moment. This handoff, IMHO, is key to making any trio viable, and I hear it performed flawlessly on this album.

The overall impression is of Surf as it existed in the mid-sixties, albeit with some exceptions which bring in elements from the ‘80s and later. Overall, the music is I dentifiably a part of the First Wave, but it’s not limited to clean guitar parts. There are some moments of fuzz and the keyboard work tends to make me think of 1965-67 more than 1962. While I’m a clean-freak, as far as guitar sounds go, I have to say that I find the sounds in this album tasteful and appropriate to the music.

The Songs:

Spaghetti Pescato Western

A lonely harmonica places us in the Spaghetti West of Clint Eastwood and and reverb drenched guitar keeps us there. The effect is haunting and evocative.

These Waves Are Too Big For Kids Surfing

Somewhat manic and pretty much all over the place. The bridge seems informed of Russian music in spots. Lots of energy and some very tight breaks. Somehow I could imagine Cossacks dancing to this tune. Cool and unique.

Un Gillapollos Sin Corazon

As somewhat sinister intro leads into a bit of a romp. It’s a playful song with a playful name to go with it. There’s a bit of Tin Pan Alley to this one. For a smaller band, this is about as close to a production number as it gets.

Criminal Truth

A sound worthy of a Bond movie. The melody is strong, but not overstated. The opening theme reappears throughout and keeps all of the variations tightly bound into a unified whole. More Spy than Spaghetti, IMO.

E-Bossa

Why not some Bossa Nova on a Surf album? The organ leads us into a solid melodic part from the lead guitar and keeps the backdrop consistent throughout, sometimes doubling or harmonizing the guitar part. It’s a unique approach to Bossa Nova style.

E-Boogie

Continuing in the “E theme”, E-Boogie holds up its part of the bargain. I find this one a bit hard to pin down. Ultimately, it’s a simple theme handled creatively. The beat, the bass line, the feel are all quite insistent, but it breaks down to a very open and empty passage near the mid-point. As with several songs in this album, occasionally you hear something that reminds you that this band is from Russia and has a Russian influence.

E-Ska

Starting with some vocals, this song quickly becomes very insistent and has an infectious beat. Just about the time you think you have it scienced-out, it takes an unexpected turn through the the Spaghetti West. It’s a surprising track.

Dead or Alive

Somehow this one reminds me of the old Get Smart TV show. The beat has a complex Latin component and there are some parts that sound like ‘80s Pop. Even with all of these elements, the song keeps it together and remains cohesive.

Mega Hit

Very much s Space Age sound to this one. There are some cool synth effects woven over a relentless beat.

Ungrateful Scoundrel

Sort of fuzz-laden, with a back to the basics guitar/bass/drums sound. There’s an energy here that pushes it into new territory and there are some imaginative chord changes. It’s very unusual to my ear and I find that I like it, a lot.

Movie Fight

Almost Punk-like in its energy level, this song uses a lead guitar lie to drive forward at a rapid-fire pace. A fight scene in a movie might take a lesson from this song when it comes to energy.

V Jope Fantik

Some great lower-register guitar work drives this song forward. The organ and guitar work together throughout the body of the song to deliver an exciting piece which manages to be energetic without tiring the listener.

Kosmos

Once again, we start out in the Duane Eddy register. The melody spreads smoothly over a very rapid drum part. It’s almost as if the guitar is ordained to be a steadying force that keeps all of the energy from boiling over.

Yura

The album ends with a synth-driven tune with some tasty guitar work in the bridge. The sound is Sci-Fi and manages to bridge the ‘60s and with the contemporary.

This band covers a lot of musical ground. There are common threads, but plenty of surprises. I like what I hear and certainly respect the musicianship of the band. It takes a lot of work to be this tight, but they obviously have put in the required effort.

For a Westerner, Moscow is literally on the other side of the world, subject to its own influences and experiences. I find it interesting that music from half a world away can capture elements of Surf music while bringing new concepts to the table. This is good music and well worth the modest cost of acquisition.

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.
My Guitar WebSite
Dead Thread

Mega Hit by Los Kosmos

Last edited: Jul 06, 2018 04:23:11

Criminal Truth by Los Kosmos

Last edited: Jul 06, 2018 04:24:56

"Spaghetti Pescato Western" by Los Kosmos

Last edited: Jul 17, 2018 03:08:28

"E-Bossa" by Los Kosmos
You can stream and download new album from Los Kosmos here: https://loskosmos.bandcamp.com/releases

"These Waves Are Too Big For Kids Surfing" by Los Kosmos
You can stream and download new album from Los Kosmos here: https://loskosmos.bandcamp.com/releases

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