Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Space Cossacks - Orbital Planetary Strategic Commanddotdotdotdot
artworkUnder the the mounting emotional support of Cowabunga rose the Space Cossacks, modeled on the Ventures surf period stuff (but with guts), and Australia's Atlantics, both bands being from three decades back. This band has only recorded covers for this DAT, and that is usually a negative. However, two factors are in their favor here. First, most of the covers are not often done, so the trite factor doesn't come into play, and second, the arrangements and performance make them clearly the property of the Space Cossacks.
Picks: Journey To The Stars, Third Star To The Left, War Of The Worlds, War Of The Satellites, The Crusher, Hava Nagila, The Savage, Squad Car, Find Me A Golden Street, Bombora

Track by Track Review

Journey To The Stars dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Heavy duty performance of the Ventures' standard that Thom Starr take writer's credit for on his CD. Well played with a huge sound.

Third Star To The Left dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Decent cover of the amazing Nocturnes' early space epic inspired by "Journey To The Stars." The largeness of this number is impressive.

War Of The Worlds dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The performance is good here, but the guitar is so low in the mix that the power is lost. Fix the mix and elevate at least a point.

War Of The Satellites dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Better than the Ventures hokey version of this tune, but then that's not tough to do. Aside from being a dumb gimmicky tune, this is nicely played and arranged.

The Crusher dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Not the Nova's wresting epic, but rather and thankfully a fiery rendition of the Atlantics' powerhouse number. This is a very cool song to cover, and the performance sports speed and spirit.

Hava Nagila dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

As the song goes, ...I did it Dick's way. The mix approaches muddy, the arrangement is standard, and the playing is superb. It's unfortunate that the muddiness covers the guts of the performance.

The Savage dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A pedestrian Shadows tune played very well.

Squad Car dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Absolutely stellar version of Eddie and the Showmen's classic. The howling feedback in lieu of the sax reed siren is effective and a welcomed change. Very exciting, and the best track on this DAT.

Find Me A Golden Street dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Fireballs' tune. The lead tones somehow don't work well with this track, but the rhythm work is excellent. The middle break is grand!

Bombora dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Another Atlantics cover, this time one of their thrashiest. Very intense and hyper-rhythmic. The lead guitar tone is right on the money!