Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Laika and the Cosmonauts - Local Warningdotdotdot
artworkThe lads have produced a very polished collection of easy-to-lite rock instros with a haunting sound that borrows a little from MJQ. This CD is the first new release from Laika and the Cosmonauts in a few years. Though the propaganda sheet says they are "Finland's #1 surf band," they've left the surf behind completely in favor of more traditional European rock-instro sounds, but continue to produce fun and vital instrumentals. While this is a studio recording, much of the release is underpinned by faint crowd sounds throughout.
Picks: N.Y. '79, The Key Role, Haroosh, Crosstown Canyon, Nocturne Of The Neon Night, Rikki On The Loose, Liposuction, Apt. 238, Soulmate, Disco-Plank, Menieto Paraiso, Mr. Melee

Track by Track Review

N.Y. '79 dotdotdot
Rock Lite (Instrumental)

Warbly whammy and churning organ swirl this eastern European melody into a melange of slightly sad sounds. There's a bit of optimism too, but "NY 79" seems mostly to be a sigh over spilt milk.

The Key Role dotdotdot
Rock Lite (Instrumental)

"The Key Role" is spy-intrigue based, with a touch of carnival and psycho swirl. The organ plays a key role in this haunting song.

Haroosh dotdotdot
Rock Lite (Instrumental)

"Haroosh" is a little bit seventies prog, a little combo spy, and a little angular jazz. A pleasant track.

Crosstown Canyon dotdotdot
Rock Lite (Instrumental)

This is a warm track with an open air feel and long flowing guitar notes. Imagine a cross between Duane Eddy's long notes, the Shadows' echo, and the slow whammy of the Dutch tradition, and you get an idea of what this sounds like.

Nocturne Of The Neon Night dotdotdotdot
Rock Lite (Instrumental)

This is a spooky track, with a very commercial sound - a wash of psycho play and jazzy edge. It lies somewhere between ambient and rock 'n' roll. Pretty, haunting, maybe even sultry. Nice track!

Rikki On The Loose dotdotdot
Rock Lite (Instrumental)

Perhaps the most rockin' track here, "Rikki On The Loose" is a fun open road adventure with dry chop rhythms and a memorable melody. Well textured and almost thick, it's a playful yet cool blend of sounds and styles.

Liposuction dotdotdot
Rock Lite (Instrumental)

Delicate notes yield to a low-energy distortion and heavy thunder edge. Perhaps its title is well suited, given its back and forth way between post liposuction playfulness and pre liposuction heavy thunder. Interesting track.

Apt. 238 dotdotdot
Rock Lite (Instrumental)

Harkening back to a lite version of the early sixties sounds that emanated from 304 Holloway Road (Joe Meek's place), and spiced with a bit of spy ethics, "Apt. 238" is a nicely done instro with a broad appeal.

Soulmate dotdotdot
Rock Lite (Instrumental)

Stereo echoed guitar rings out lite romance over a haunted backtrack. The organ is the lead instrument, like a squishy version of Jimmy Smith on a rainy day.

Disco-Plank dotdotdotdot
Rock Lite (Instrumental)

With more edge than most in this set, "Disco-Plank" bumps around a jazzy guitar line with a Stevie Wonder/Billy Preston-ish rhythm track. A rainy night comes to mind while listening to this track. Pretty with a bit of bite.

Menieto Paraiso dotdotdot
Rock Lite (Instrumental)

Almost Doors like in the intro, this playful song is like a cool carnival theme. Playful, and yet a little sad.

Mr. Melee dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Heavy grumblin' fuzz and intense double picked maniac guitar run beneath the organ's lead on this thick thundering track. Grumbling spies hide amidst the mayhem.