THE COSMIC DEAD (s/t) MC
Hailing from Glasgow, THE COSMIC DEAD are heavy psychedelic space travelers and this strictly limited cassette (150 copies) documents one of their latest trips into lysergic galaxies. The opening cut, 'The Black Rabbit', (which clocks in at 19:01 minutes) is a good test of whether you are or are not going to be a fan of THE COSMIC DEAD. I can well imagine that some people find the song boring and repetitive - but in fact it makes good use of repeated themes intermixed with background variations. The whole thing is clearly influenced by the usual suspects (Hawkwind, Spacemen 3, Neu! to name but a few) and the drug culture of the late 1960's. Despite the synths, 'The Black Rabbit' is very much guitar-dominated but this is not about heavy riffs. It's more like an excessive ride on wah pedals and other effects while the rhythm section keeps it all focused.
Then comes 'Spice Melange Spectrum' which is the shortest track here with a playing time of only 6:43 minutes. The song is held together by deep bass grooves while lots of trippy sonic effects evoke a magical, other-worldly atmosphere. 'Infinte Death Of The Godhead' is the last distortion- and reverb-soaked track on side A and it's definitely my fave on this album. Electric guitars overlay the steady beat of the drum and bass to create a hypnotic effect which wraps the listener in a cocoon of sound. The trance-inducing effect is enormous and totally captivating. There are sparse vocals somewhere in the middle of the song, but it also demonstrates that THE COSMIC DEAD are not afraid to integrate some unexpected noise in their cosmic melange without destroying the song structure.
Overall, 'Infinite Death Of The Godhead' is a prime example of hallucinatory space rock. It's a pity, though, that it's only 13:44 minutes long. In contrast, side B contains one 40 minute song that is named 'Father Sky, Mother Earth'. You have to have a great predilection for extensive jams, otherwise you'll be lost in no time. It ebbs and flows as you'd expect, but never settles into one groove for too long. All sorts of sounds are layered on top of the melodic fragments including bleeps and blurbs on synthesizers, electric guitars, drums and strange subtle vocal parts and of course a heavy bass line that is driving the monster forward. Here, too, THE COSMIC DEAD never lose focus. All in all, this is a fine album of dark and twisted space/psychedelic rock. It has energy, melody and a hypnotic quality that is intriguing and arouses the desire for more. Very nice is also the cover artwork that is based on...mmm, damn I forgot the name of that 1960's (or 1970's) band...