Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Space Cossacks - Tsar Warsdotdotdotdot
artworkThis is a stunning release. The writing and musicianship are excellent, and the unique blend of Russian and Spanish influences with surf and space make this a standalone disc. Recommended.
Picks: Exolumina, Space Race, The Apes Of Wrath, Tsunami Tsurprise, Escape From Gulag 17, Sea Of Tranquility, The Defector, The Crusher, Cossack Rocket Patrol, The Jewell Of Duende, Departure, Beyond The Third Star, Tsar Wars, Fiesta Del Cossacapulco, Tradewinds

Track by Track Review

Exolumina dotdotdotdotdot
Russian Space Surf (Instrumental)

As we fade into dissonance for a moment, we are lulled into anticipation of something much less than this aggressive and very well played track. Melodic and powerful, this is a stellar track with sparkling guitar and rapid picking. Stunningly beautiful and ominous as well, "Exolumina" simply rules.

Space Race dotdotdot
Russian Space Surf (Instrumental)

"Space Race" is very well done - nice arrangement and solid power. Low-E menacing, melodically interesting, and fluid.

The Apes Of Wrath dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With the low-E pummeling the title implies (imagine the Apemen angry), "The Apes Of Wrath" bowls you over from the get go... relentless shredding double picked guitar, powerful arranging, and mean. Intensely driven with flair and relentless energy.

Tsunami Tsurprise dotdotdotdotdot
Russian Space Surf (Instrumental)

Great title... and likely the most fluid track here. Really good writing, exceptional playing, and rock-solid staying power. Crystalline twang and a fresh sparkling face. The damped high note picking is so cool, and the clever spelling in the name is too much!

Escape From Gulag 17 dotdotdotdot
Russian Space Surf (Instrumental)

Inspired by the Atlantics, "Escape From Gulag 17" is a mighty tasty example of the Aussie surf sound, though of course they are not from down under. Beautiful playing, fine tone, melodic and fluid, this is warm and friendly, and enjoyable.

Sea Of Tranquility dotdotdotdot
Russian Space Surf (Instrumental)

As peaceful and moving as the "Sea Of Tranquility," this floats on a bed of delicate sound and wistful playing. Mature writing, and quite pretty.

The Defector dotdotdotdot
Russian Space Surf (Instrumental)

Surf chunk, a reverb haven for spies on the lamb, and moody eastern block melody riffs. Really nice, and very fluid. "The Defector" gets into the crevasses of your ears, and reverberates throughout the day. Excellent writing and playing.

The Crusher dotdotdot
Russian Space Surf (Instrumental)

The Atlantics's tune is shredded with more surf and lots of drive. Swimming guitar tone, round and full. The fire of the original is here, and with more reverb, it's got more surfability. The up-glissandos are just too cool.

Cossack Rocket Patrol dotdotdotdot
Russian Space Surf (Instrumental)

A rocket launch opens this fine rendering of "Meadowlands." Solidly performed, arranged for surfability, with liquid guitar work and a great rhythm section. Very fine track.

The Jewell Of Duende dotdotdot
Russian Space Surf (Instrumental)

This sultry piece floats gently across an evening interlude. Very pretty, quite restrained, and enjoyable.

Departure dotdotdotdot
Russian Space Surf (Instrumental)

With the polish of a fifties MOR guitar classic, the Space Cossacks play through this almost too well written number with extra smoothness and finesse. Perfection may be an illusion, but the accuracy here certainly approached the unthinkable range.

Beyond The Third Star dotdotdotdot
Russian Space Surf (Instrumental)

Based on / inspired by "Third Star To The Left," "Beyond The Third Star" has all of the solid thunder and experimental charm of the Nocturnes' tune, but with a new melody line and power drive. Guest on sax here is Jim Frias (Nocturnes). Powerful, stunning, and magnificent. It cross fades through space-fi sfx right into "Tsar Wars."

Tsar Wars dotdotdotdot
Russian Space Surf (Instrumental)

Surf and Russian battlefield epic melody lines, and huge powerful attack. The ringing nature of the tone and the great double picking, combined with the effects and very well thought out arranging make this shine. An excellent break and bridge.

Fiesta Del Cossacapulco dotdotdotdotdot
Russian Space Surf (Instrumental)

Now there's a name for you! "Fiesta Del Cossacapulco" sports a fine blend of vodka and tequila, a party down Baja way with Cossack dancers. An amazing amalgam of cultures and styles. Exceptional playing on the guitar, and a very solid backup.

Tradewinds dotdotdotdot
Russian Space Surf (Instrumental)

As the surf gently laps the shore, the ringing notes take you to faraway places where there is no time, just palms and island ladies. It's breezy like the trade winds. Very beautiful.