Cosmonaut Radio – Work Harder, Comrade! – EP Review
OK! Now THIS is fun for the mind, body and soul! The energetic sound & style of Cosmonaut Radio absolutely pours from the speakers with the funked-out spectacular “Kill Or Be Killed” starting out their new EP, Work Harder, Comrade! Killer guitars is what it is; with all the killin’ goin on in this title I’m almost surprised that wasn’t the logical option after hearing the exquisite tones in this opening tune! Really appreciated those – but also really appreciated the dynamic low-end punch of the production & rhythm-section of this band…and the vocals! Okay…so…clearly they come out shining brightly for the first impression…”Kill Or Be Killed” establishes the impact immediately and…well…dammit – this is just plain ol’ FUN to the ears and extremely entertaining to listen to, isn’t it? Strong, confident, melodic…the rise up to the chorus of “Kill Or Be Killed” is one heck of a beautiful build…that’s fantastic writing right there is what that is – great start, check out the video, have a listen and prove it for yourself!
Things continue to get explorative and insightfully adventurous on the progressive/funk combination of “Triceratops” – which will go on to not just expand on its original ideas…it gets downright ambitious and fully evolves, morphs and changes in exciting ways. The vocals started off on a bit shakier ground here than the perfected tones of the EP’s opening tune – but there’s eventual redemption here through the enthusiastic approach and exotic layers added into the instrumentation. Maybe shakier is the wrong word…maybe loose is better…or free; there’s not as much focus on tone as there is on performance itself – how about that? That’s not necessarily a bad thing…I think a lot of people potentially respond to that with an equally strong connection. There’s a ‘togetherness’ and all-inclusive vibe to “Triceratops” that really pulls you onto this song’s side to root for it – and with innovative drum-beats and wild horns weaving throughout the guitar solos and instrumental sections – there’s really an entire smorgasbord of sound to listen to. Personally, I couldn’t get enough of the final two-minutes of this track where the music truly does take the spotlight and you really get a taste of the depth of skill that seriously exists and thrives within this band.
Standout bass-lines and percussion lead the way to victory on “Malbecs” – major credit again to the rhythm-section of this band; they get undeniably and unshakably right into their grooves and truly make the magic happen reliably on every track. I liked the controlled madness that Cosmonaut Radio displayed here…as hyped as the energy gets on “Malbecs” at the height of the chorus or during the solos – these musicians retain a firm and impressive grip on how to keep it all in check and truly deliver exceptional entertainment. Excellent ideas in the trading-off of the vocals throughout this track and the way the backing vocals assist the lead…solid and aggressive hooks that still contain a ton of passion and melody, and what sounds to me like a seriously inspired performance. The energy of “Malbecs” swells and grows fantastically…it’s got a great groove, wicked transitions and stunning execution.
Can’t you see what’s happening here? They’ve got us all attached directly to the “Cosmic Teet” – and now what’re we supposed to do? This tune was like a musical tractor beam pulling me in. The pace and the way this beat rolls, the production on those drums & cymbal sounds is incredible…and don’t even get me started on the epic nature of the guitar solos on “Cosmic Teet” or we’ll all seriously be here all day reading about it when we could be listening to it! Smart ideas fill in the music’s atmosphere as they transition between parts and the focus in the song; Cosmonaut Radio is definitely a musician’s type of band…the intricate and complex nature of the compositions and the stunning punch that they play with is the kind of thing musicians love to listen to themselves. Excellent switch in pace on “Cosmic Teet” as the song becomes even sweeter just about halfway in…and then MAN do things get WILD! Instrumentation takes the spotlight once again, but even the vocals find themselves a whole new gear in the second-life that “Cosmic Teet” takes on…really cool stuff overall.
I do have to say…there’s a good chance that a shorter track length has also led them to stunning results in the focused final tune, “Counting Down.” I mean…look…Cosmonaut Radio has proven to be beyond impressive at every turn and I know I’ve been raving about them so far…but LISTEN to the genius writing of “Counting Down” and the flawless execution will you? I fail to hear what more a band could possibly ask for…the music is spot-on the money the entire time and the vocals sound their absolute best in the chorus of this incredible final tune. Brilliant way to end an already stunning EP by unleashing their most arguably well-written track in the last spot to really create a memorable impact…like somehow we wouldn’t ALREADY remember this band after hearing everything we’ve experienced!
Seriously…this was a fantastic journey into the true love and depths of music, obviously made by incredible talents and people that genuinely enjoy every moment of performing. Again…no reason not to be jazzed about the funk/soul sounds of these five tunes…they should be beyond thrilled with how these songs have come out – Work Harder, Comrade! is absolutely fantastic to listen to.
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