Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Laika and the Cosmonauts - Zero Gravitydotdotdot
artworkIf you haven't seen Laika & the Cosmonauts, get off your placeholders! Their on tour with Ministry! This Finish band have a spirit and energy that is utterly infectious. Their newer material is drifting away from surf and is more closely aligned with the Euro instro thing. Their early side have been hard to find in the U. S. up to now. Upstart has compiled tracks from their 1988 & 89 releases into a 16 track CD. Even the non-surf stuff from this early period is quite innocent and infectious. As an instrumental CD, it is totally solid, As a surf CD, it contains nine bitchin' tube riders. "C'Mon Do The Laika" is a twisted guitar & organ number that sucks you into their camp right from the get-go. L&C were the first surf band to cover Dizzy Gillespie's "Night In Tunisia."
Picks: C'mon Do The Laika, Fugitive, Oahu Luau, A Night In Tunisia, Surf-Ro-Mania, Fadeaway, Beat '88, Salt Mine Twist, Zero Gravity Stomp, 1'45, Surf's You Right, Fear, Baja, Point Of No Return, Zunami, And Suddenly You Run

Track by Track Review


C'mon Do The Laika dotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

Progression based Euro instro instro. It's a fun though slightly weird track, with almost muddy sound and keys and guitars. Not their best track, but typically early Laika and the Cosmonauts.

Fugitive dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

The Fugitives' did this, and the Ventures offered it up later. This is very progression based, but it works, and the ringing space guitar in the break is really good. Fun track.

Oahu Luau dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

There's nothing like faux Polynesian stylings a la Martin Denny et. al. to get your mai tai flowing. It's hokey enough, and hotel grass shack smooth.

A Night In Tunisia dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

There was a lot of jazz in Southern California surf instros back in the days of old. This is a hot rendition of a spiffy jazz number from the fifties. It's a natural for the Euro instro sound.

Surf-Ro-Mania dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Traditional Euro folk melody and styles, glissandoes and double picking, like you'd like 'em to do at the bar mitzvah. Not much melody, mostly an ambiance of line dancing Baltic fishermen. A fun track for sure.

Fadeaway dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

Slow and silky romantic easy to swallow melodic and smooth. This is quite a pretty song, and the guitar work is delicate and tasty.

Beat '88 dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is the Richie Podolor tune that the Surfaris did. This is a faster version, more spunky and less prone to the drama of the intended hesitation. The fiery pace is augmented with flying drums. Mighty hot.

Salt Mine Twist dotdotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

This is a really nice original. It has a mysterious intrigue about it. The energy is solid, and the melody is simple and catchy. It's both bouncy lite and ominous dark. Very cool track.

Zero Gravity Stomp dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

A hokey drum beat, a cooler than though progression, and a growling organ combine for a nifty sound, but an unmemorable tune. It's nice, but doesn't stick.

1'45 dotdotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

Fast, sporty, foxy, and quite tame compared to their live renditions. That's not a bad thing, because this song is written well enough to handle different approaches with ease. It's melodic, quirky, and fun. Round smooth tones.

Surf's You Right dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Shreddin' ska backed raging surf, with screams of joy sprinkled in, and a bridge that's unique and out of this world. Melodic, low-E growling, spiffy glissandoes, and even a tiny bit of the old double pick.

Fear dotdotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

The Ventures' version of this is more thin and terror laden , while this is more haunted, and sports almost vibraphone guitar tones. Really a nice cover.

Baja dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Shimmering vibrato, grumbling bass, and a haunted guitar sound offer a different variation on the Lee Hazelwood monster made a hit by the Astronauts. This is a nice version, sporting a gentler sound and feel. Quite effective

Point Of No Return dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

There's a sax layered over the top, and a plunky backtrack, with a low-in-the-mix guitar. Quite fun and energetic.

Zunami dotdotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

Melodic in a film score way, augmented with mighty fine glissandoes and double picking. It's quite surf worthy. Memorable, melodic, energetic, and the sax is a cool addition.

And Suddenly You Run
Euro (Instrumental)

Slow shimmering vibrato of the fifties detective in a black trench coat variety. Smooth and sadly romantic. Gumshoe in paradise.