Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Laika and the Cosmonauts - Absurdistandotdotdot
artworkFinally, the latest album from Laika & the Cosmonauts gets out of Finland via a Warner release on a Japanese subsidiary. After all the wait, there are only a couple of tracks I really like. They seem to be moving into MOR territory, more Euro and less surf than ever. Extremely good playing on largely uninteresting tracks.
Picks: Disconnected, Turquoise, Look! No Head!, The Hypno-Wheel, Boris The Conductor, Lands End, Circumstantial Evidence, The Freefaller, Syncophant, Silenzio, Hi and Lo, Nanaki, Rough Ground

Track by Track Review

Disconnected dotdotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

This is one bizarre little ditty. The percussion is most unique, with timbales and a saucy bass line. The tune rolls along with a pulsating feel. It ain't no surf tune, but it's so cool! What happens when you merge Euro stylings with Latin American percussion sounds and twangy guitar? You get disconnected.

Turquoise dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

This charming Euro tune has a warm and round tone to it. The melody line is more about using the fret board than a melody, like a gypsy progression. Quite stunning, and fun.

Look! No Head! dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

Thick fuzz drenched chunk rhythm guitar over a galloping neat and a large amount of dark edge. This is quite a departure for Laika and the Cosmonauts. Nasty and mean.

The Hypno-Wheel dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

Beginning with a swirling keyboard sound, and modulated guitar, this track is slow and shimmering. The vibrato is set pretty fast, giving it an almost tremolo feel. The melody is pretty. It's a seventies spy flick sorta tune. Mysterious and sad.

Boris The Conductor dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

Crunch comes to Laika and the Cosmonauts in this track. It's a progression and lead exercise combination that is precise and nerve wracking, but not very interesting after about half the song passes. Too little melody and too much repetition.

Lands End dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

This Shadows-like tune has that Hank Marvin tone and melody styling that is so much theirs. The big guitar twang is nice, but for my money, it seems like just another Euro guitar instro.

Circumstantial Evidence dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

Seventies funk and bongos, smooth soft wah wah, tinkly echoed piano, and atmospheric sounds support a pretty but unremarkable melody. As a backdrop for a cocktail party, it would be fine. For intent listening, I found it to be dismissible.

The Freefaller dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

Intense eighties LA guitar band sounds under the organ lead are a nice contrast, but I just don;t dig the keys.

Syncophant dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

Disappointed dissonant discrepant syncopated carnival ride. Fun, but I quickly forgot about it.

Silenzio dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

Almost Italian sounding tone and melody line, line a morphed spaghetti western theme. This is slow and deliberate, and sadly menacing. A little too pleasant for the genre, and little too MOR for my taste.

Hi and Lo dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

A big eighties pop structure and a Shadows styled melody create a pretty but unremarkable track. It's fluid enough, just unremarkable.

Nanaki dotdotdot
Euro Surf (Instrumental)

This is an interesting moody track. It seems like it should be a soundtrack sequence piece. The harmonics are cool, and it has a surf feel in the Hawaiianesque melody and lead tone. Pretty.

Rough Ground dotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

An organ of soap opera proportions, a slow pace, a pulsing feeling, and, well, a strange side show ambiance. I don't know about this at all.