Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Laika and the Cosmonauts - Tuesday Night Partydotdotdotdot
artworkOn their first US tour in 1994, Finland's Laika and the Cosmonauts stopped by KFJC to play in our Pit one Tuesday night after knocking 'em dead at SXSW. Their set was stunning.
Picks: Fugitive, S.P.Y.D.A.'s Web, Penetration, C'mon Do The Laika, Beat Girl, Bulls Eye, Enchanted Rock, Zunami, Beat '94, Magic Bullet, Note Crisis, Moondawg, Surf's You Right, Six Seconds In Dallas, Piedras Negras, Point Of No Return, Out Of Limits, Vendetta, Experiment In Terror, Baja, 1'45, Oahu Luau, Psyko / Vertigo, Salt Mine Twist, Night In Tunisia, Surf-Ro-Mania, Fadeaway, Baha-Ree-Bah!, Mission Impossible, Telstar

Track by Track Review


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.

S.P.Y.D.A.'s Web dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

Spy theme eerily portrayed with a spooky sound and martini glass suavitude. Live, this is a much warmer tune than in the studio.

Penetration dotdotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

The Pyramids' "Penetration" gets the Laika and the Cosmonauts treatment... fast and punchy, and quite surfy... The arrangement is based on the Ventures' cover. Excellent!

C'mon Do The Laika dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

Way fun performance of their classic Euro tune... slightly bizarre and lots of fun.

Beat Girl dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

John Barry's theme from the film of the same name. Rockin' and throbbin', with organ lead and grimy guitar backing. Very nice.

Bulls Eye dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

Organ and soft guitar combine for a relatively tame track. The melody is nice, and with the guitar more evident, it works better.

Enchanted Rock dotdotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

This filmy tune is so-o-o silky and warm... this is a spectacular performance, and with a crisp live sound, it's better than ever. Slightly sad, slow and slithery... excellent.

Zunami dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a fiery tune... crisp and very melodic. This great track races along a cliff edge watching the horizon for that long dark line that will soon engulf the shore. Crunchy and poundy, with excellent guitar work and amazing drums.

Beat '94 dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Devons' "Beat '65" updated and all fired up... it races and rages and pummels... a great performance!

Magic Bullet dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

Dedicated to the unbelievable ballistics the Warren Commission used to explain their single bullet theory, this edgie weirdness is haunting and a little unnerving. Big echoed glissandoes bring it closer to surf, while the organ carries the lead.

Note Crisis dotdotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

Tribal drums and urgent reverbed guitar play a saucy spy feeling thing with a ska beat and lots of energy. The vibrato is dangerous and the double picking almost Venisian. Cool track.

Moondawg dotdotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

Even faster than the Gamblers' original, and stingingly intense! This is a hard song to screw up, and they REALLY don't. Aside from the bass distortion, this rules!

Surf's You Right dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Set two opened with a raging performance of "Surf's You Right." Shreddin' raging surf with a bridge that's unique and powerful. Melodic, low-E growling, spiffy glissandoes, and a slab of the old double pick.

Six Seconds In Dallas dotdotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

Another tune named after Kennedy assassination. Shimmering with an optimistic sadness and an almost playful backtrack. Ringing chords and bouncy energy. Quite a pretty track, out of step with the ominous nature of the title. Live, there's a lot of intensity.

Piedras Negras dotdotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

"Piedras Negras" is melodic and friendly, this great melody is roundly played against a nearly surf backtrack. Excellent writing and a warm performance.

Point Of No Return dotdotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

This is a great plunky track, with a crunchy guitar. Stinging string bending and cool pick slides. Quite fun and energetic.

Out Of Limits dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a decent cover, made more interesting due to the Euro treatment, and the near grin on the faces of the band. The keys are just so cheesy. Much more intense than the studio track.

Vendetta dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Slow and sultry, "Vendetta" shines with Italian mobster charm. Highly stylized, beautifully played, and lushly arranged. In live form, it's much more immediate and crisp. Excellent.

Experiment In Terror dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Henry Mancini' "Experiment In Terror" is oozed out with more dementia than the ventures used. Moody organ lead and near surf backing. In live form, it's much more chunky and rhythmic... Very moody and suave.

Baja dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Restrained and damped, rhythmic and plucky, "Baja" has so much charm... The arrangement is all Laika and the Cosmonauts.

1'45 dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"1'45" is fast, sporty, foxy, and intensely lively. It's melodic, quirky, and fun. Round smooth tones and a no holds barred performance. This track appears on KFJC's Water Logged surf comp.

Oahu Luau dotdotdotdot
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. Silky and warm, and so-o-o suave.

Psyko / Vertigo dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

Two film scores merged... twisted demented, bouncy and scary.... organ lead and pure fun.

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. Live, this is more moody and yet quite crunchy.

Night In Tunisia dotdotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

Introduced with the lines "And next into some jazz music... oh no, don't worry, it will still be surf..." 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. Crisp, crunchy, warm, and cute too. 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. Incredible line dancing Baltic fishermen awaiting a new day of surf. A fun track for sure. They dedicated it to "the late great Nicolai Chouchesku." (sp)

Fadeaway dotdotdot
Surf (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.

Baha-Ree-Bah! dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is great cover of the Trademarks' "Baha Ree Bah." The power is there, as is the energy, and the fine double picking and moodiness too. Very fun and spirited.

Mission Impossible dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The "Mission Impossible" theme is organic chunka chunka espionage themeage, high energy and fun.

Telstar dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

Joe Meek's classic space rocker is reverently pumped out on organ as it was intended to be. Good performance. The double picked guitar parts make it unique to Laika and the Cosmonauts. Recorded at Baarikaapi, Rauma, Finland