Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Laika and the Cosmonauts - Cosmopolisdotdotdot
artworkThis is a colossal career spanning set of tracks from a band that's been at it for 20 years, and has announced that they are hanging up their spurs toward the end of 2008. Only two new tracks here, but if you're not already immersed in their work, then this is for you. No artwork yet.
Picks: Metropolis Theme, Floating, Rikki On The Loose, Note Crisis, Experiment In Terror, Global Village, Disconnected, Crosstown Canyon, Turquoise, Surf's You Right, Look! No Head!, Vendetta, Psyko, C'mon Do The Laika, Fear, Boris The Conductor, Lands End, Circumstantial Evidence, Delayrium, N.Y. '79, Expose', Get Carter, Fadeaway, The Ipcress File, Meneilo Paraiso, S.P.Y.D.A.'s Web, Mary's Theme

Track by Track Review


Metropolis Theme dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Metropolis Theme" is a gentle number with sultry guitar and organ. Slow drama unfolds at a measured pace.

Floating dotdotdot
Euro Surf (Instrumental)

Thick and swirly Euro instro, with a great melody and a slightly muddy sound. The overall effect is of an eighties instro with a surf rhythm guitar pattern played dry. Very nice effect, almost synthetic and bubbly.

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.

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 Venetian. Cool track.

Experiment In Terror dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

Henry Mancini' "Experiment In Terror" is oozed out with more dementia than the ventures used. Moody organ lead and near surf backing. Very moody and weird.

Global Village dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

Euro almost "Telstar" feel, with the organ in the lead over a rhythmic backtrack. Not their most interesting, but one of their more unusual tracks. It is melodic and friendly.

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.

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.

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.

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 glissandos, and even a tiny bit of the old double pick.

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.

Vendetta dotdotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

Slow and sultry, "Vendetta" shines with Italian mobster charm. Highly stylized, beautifully played, and lushly arranged. Excellent.

Psyko dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

Big scary theme music, with the organ playing the lead. Atmospheric and almost carnival like.

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.

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.

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.

Delayrium dotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

Tweaky churny pumpy theme music... not very interesting, but very playful.

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.

Expose' dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

A ska beat and a pumping bass support a whirling organ tune. Floating and dramatic.

Get Carter dotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

Moody floaty organ film score stuff, with exotic percussion and organ lead.

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.

The Ipcress File dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

John Barry's film score presented in shimmering vibrato against an almost carnival organ. Interesting and spooky.

Meneilo 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.

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

Spy theme eerily portrayed with a spooky sound and martini glass suavitude.

Mary's Theme dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Mary's Theme" is a soft and lovely piece, ending the CD much as it began. Emotional and moving. The gently tribal drums are almost subliminal, adding a bit of mystery.