Sunday, August 1, 2010

Space Cossacks - Tsar Wars

I've been hooked on the Space Cossacks ever since I bought their split 7" with the Penetrators back in 1997, a recording I didn't think they could ever surpass. "Tsar Wars," however, does surpass it, by far.
I hear you asking, "what's so great about these guys, it's just surf, right?" Shut your filthy little mouth- I don't think you even have to like surf to enjoy the Cossacks! The music is purely aesthetic, and largely flawless. People who buy music looking for something that is beautiful, entertaining and fresh can find it in "Tsar Wars." Sound a little too commercial for you surf fans? You never learn, do you? There is nothing commercial about the Cossacks- in fact, they are much less commercial than most of your surf acts, today. While many of the same spacing and racing themes are present in the material, the Cossacks embelish their titles with clever little puns and humor. The music itself follows the same path. Very rarely does the band drift into the typical 1st, 4th, 5th blues structure so common (overplayed!) in surf, and the riffs use all sorts of scales unimaginable to some one who has been hearing the same regurgitated music for so many years. Pongraic is a madman on this record, playing some swift, fantastic leads that blow your mind- if he impressed you on "Interstellar Stomp," he will doubtlessly drop your jaw on "Tsar." Let's not take credit away from the others, though, because much of the song writing and supporting glue is in the other members. Gray and English contribute about the same amount of writing on this record as "Stomp," and the band is without a doubt tighter than they ever were. (And in lieu of "Stomp," you must realize how tight that is!) It always amazes me how well these people click with one another; you hear one song and you read the liners- "Oh, that's one of Pongraic's." Then you hear one that has all the same elements in it, and you realize that it was written by Gray! (Who is a fox, by the way...) On top of it all, the album appears to be a sound track of sorts. Included in the album, in fact, (it's an enhanced CD) is a story that it corresponds with. It's not an outstanding read or anything, but it's fun and it's new. The album itself is brilliantly mastered; the songs flow into one another as if they were one. Perfect, simply perfect.
My personal advice to people who've yet to be turned on to the Cossacks varies. If you're a traditional surf fan, start with "Interstellar Stomp," it's a lot less fresh than this one. But if you're sick of Dick, the Ventures, Pyramids and the thousands of bands that monotonously rip them off today, go with "Tsar Wars," you won't be disappointed. Those of you who already fell in love with the Cossacks way back when, be aware that this record blows away everything they've ever done. Now that I own it - you can enjoy it in marvelous 320. The best version of this in the blogosphere.

1. Exolumina
2. Space Race
3. The Apes of Wrath
4. Tsunami Tsurprise
5. Escape From Gulag 17
6. Sea of Tranquility
7. The Defector
8. The Crusher
9. Cossack Rocket Patrol
10. The Jewel of Duende
11. Departure
12. Beyond the Third Star
13. Tsar Wars
14. Fiesta Del Cossacapulco
15. Tradewinds


BTW - I'm taking a break in August, life is getting in the way, so the posts won't be as long as usual, but they will be coming. It's getting harder and harder to find great goodies (and more expensive) so for August - I'm going to repost stuff that has gone byebye. Now is the time for requests - if any of you out there want a repost of SOMETHING posted here in FCCL since DAY 1 - now is the time to ask for it. That will be part of the August posts.

Thank you all for following and commenting, let's keep spreading the word.




Brandonio! said...

DaBoss, You are aware that the Space Cossacks are touring again right? They are playing in Indy Aug 13,and Dayton on the 14th.Madeira,Destination:Earth!,and Ivan's Shadows tribute band The Troubadours which his dad also plays in will be playing at the Indy show.That would be cool if you could make it to one of these shows.You won't regret it trust me!

Zakariás said...

Man, first of all, have fun and relax. And I'd like to use the opportunity and ask for the Ray Corvair Trio. My external hard drive took a dive and I lost some 600GB of music. So, please give us Ray Corvair again and maybe all the Aqua Velvets you have. It'd be greatly appreciated since this music is disturbingly hard to come by in Hungary. Thanks and peace, man.

zerohero999 said...

Thanks for your superb blog from which I have discovered some of the greatest sounds made by humankind.
Since you asked for requests I would love to hear Two Sides Of The Chantays or Atlantics Complete CBS Recordings.Anyway,just to let you know I really appreciate being able to hear this great music.For some reason surf music seemed to bypass the UK ....thanks again.

Anonymous said...

This blog is really very helpful. You have a very nice collection of song. Keep it up. All the best.

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