Tuesday, February 21, 2017
COSMIC RAYS: "s/t"
LABEL: SPACE HEAD RECORDS
REVIEW BY: Alan Holloway
Here's an unusual offering, found at a comic convention of all places. The reason for this is that Cosmic Rays is made up of people who create comics or are involved in comics. The most well known would be drummer Charlie Adlard who illustrates a little comic called 'The Walking Dead' a couple of times a month. Of course, making good comics does not mean you can make good music, so I was understandably intrigued.
'Cosmic Rays' is rather proggy in it's overall feel, but the sort of prog you can play air guitar to, not the boring stuff. It was made over a period of a few years, so lacks some cohesiveness, but the music is solid and the melodies ever present. Vocalist Shane Chebsey has a pub rock feel to his voice, underlined by a nervous mix that keeps pushing him to the front. Nonetheless, he can hold a tune and suits the music well, which is always a good starting point. Another good starting point is opener 'Electricade', which sets out the stall for the band as an upbeat but interesting prospective. There's a real 70s vibe that crops up often, a space rock feel that is kept under control rather than allowed to make everything too much like a hippy festival. They can rock out when required, and 'Need For Speed' has a wonderful Deep Purple-y feel to it with a neat riff and very nice keyboards. The album finishes with an eight minutes plus track, 'Redemption (2&3)', featuring some jaunty and catchy guitar from artist Phil Winslade along with some proggy bits that should come with flowers to braid in your hair.
'Cosmic Rays' is quite a find, a self financed and produced gem that will slot right into anyone's power prog collection. If you have a few It Bites or Kino albums this will be right up your street. Deep enough to reward repeated listens and instant enough to enjoy on the first spin, this has made me look forward to the band's next EP, due later this year. It's cosmic, man...
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