SPACE TAXI – Cheeney Bear And The Spaceman – Album Review
All the way from Barecelona, Spain – SPACE TAXI pack a party’s-worth of entertainment into their music. A wild, exotic blend of folk/rock that really moves and shifts through several directions & sounds…there’s a genuinely copious amount of fun stoking the fire of SPACE TAXI’s songs on Cheeney Bear And The Spaceman – and they let you in on that feeling/atmosphere immediately.
“Undertaker” immediately opens with a nearly wild-west kind of spaghetti-western sound to it… Right away harmonies jump out as an important ingredient to the band as the vocals take turns trading chants over the microphone during the chorus. Switching-up the vibe shortly before the two-minute mark, they make a massive jump to a more punked-out folk and bring-up the energy to a dance-inducing level as the song builds towards the end. Great hooks in the chorus of this first tune.
“Rameses” starts out subtly before it jumps into its vocal-rhythm. Once again you can hear how these harmonies tend to carry the music/songs of SPACE TAXI…they really spark to life in “Rameses” as the rhythm & groove of this song begin to form around them. The verse rolls along smoothly…the chorus makes another massive-switch once again; they definitely understand how to bring up the energy in just the right spots of their writing. I’ve heard a lot of anti-choruses lately…where the energy/mix shrink back right where you’d hope it would build and max-out…but there’s nothing like that here on SPACE TAXI’s album – these guys get it. A chorus is about taking it to that next-level in the song and they pull that off perfectly in “Rameses.”
It’s be hard to ignore just how easily “Crystal Lake” pulls you in to its groove & hooks – this song is designed to flow straight into your face-holes. Excellent slow-funk to this one, great bass & rhythm section…the drums get extremely inventive in spots here throughout the wander through “Crystal Lake.” Additional elements like horns and synth come drifting in…the vocals continue to keep their own melody and hooks working throughout…overall, this is an incredibly wild but also incredible accessible tune – I’d figure a song like this has an audible-shot with everyone.
And SERIOUSLY…how could you not LOVE a song like “Cousin Vinny And The Scooter Blues?” The humour is there…the musicianship is precision-perfect and these guys shift through a bizarre little ditty similar to what you’d hear from Cake or maybe even The Beards. Really has a fantastic mix of alt-folk-rock on this tune…the chorus is fantastically recorded with backup harmonies bouncing from the left and right of your speakers on this extremely catchy tune. I felt much the same regarding “Porno Couch” – they still reminded me somewhat of Cake in the approach to the music and sound of the recording, but the additional melody that sparkled through the vocals made it all sound even a little more impressive to me. Excellent guitar work, vibe and overall attitude that completely rings through clearly in the music of SPACE TAXI…”Porno Couch” is definitely a highlight for me on this record – brilliantly written from the lyrics to the music and played perfectly. There’s even like…a HARMONICS-solo…I mean, c’mon people…how often are you running into that? Awesome!
“On A Boat” was a song that I thought really kind of put that folk-attitude in the lyrics in the spotlight. It definitely still finds a way to rock…but they really make the lyrics a solid-focus in this song and really let the tale play out soundly. The harmonies and vocals of SPACE TAXI continue to be impressive as they switch from verse, to chorus, to bridge…each part has such vibrant charm & personality to it that you can’t help but truly admire this approach and all-out enthusiasm you can hear in their music.
“Bugout” was a lot more spread-out in its sound. The clarity and space become just as effective as the moments they’re filling the sound. Fantastic drums and guitar riffs really stoke the fire in this song and make it all move and shake, bump & grind at an alt-folk rhythm that you can help but feel. Really cool rhythms…I love the writing of the drums in their music and “Bugout” was definitely a song that helped that standout once again. Spain – you’re rockin! This is truly cool stuff from SPACE TAXI!
Another extremely accessible sound and inviting atmosphere from the band comes shining through sweetly in “Cosmic Anarchy.” The vocals almost come through brighter than ever and the music is highly inventive, highly skilled…and contains that real magic of being complex but sounding sweet & simple to the ears. “Cosmic Anarchy” has as much in common with prog-rock as it does with pop-rock…and whatever category it might fall into – it’ll land safely into a good opinion; SPACE TAXI really puts a lot of entertainment into a single song and I think that ears from all over the globe will appreciate that.
But if any song immediately starts out with a sound that instantly makes you smile and want to hear the rest, it’s “Sandwich.” That’s a tone and sound I’m hungry for – that’s for damn-sure! There’s such an incredible unique pop-energy that meets folk-rock in this song…and I cannot even begin to describe just how AMAZING these lyrics are. If you want to be served-up a hot lunch on the ‘how-tos’ to lyricism and how to make something ordinary extraordinary – this is the recipe. “Sandwich” is remarkably brilliant – you cannot help but fall in love with a song so dedicated to the true love of what happens between the bread in this extremely-personal, heartfelt & emotional-tribute to a man’s beloved “Sandwich.”
Somehow…even after “Sandwich” is done – SPACE TAXI is STILL hungry. The opening lyrics of “Thank You But No” start talking-food right away as well! Are people feeding these guys when they make music? Maybe if they had lunch BEFORE they went into jam, write or record they’d have something else other than food on their mind! “Thank You But No” is a much different vibe…its slight alt-country-vibe and twang and repetitive hook weren’t my favourite on the record – but they pull it off just as convincingly as the rest with their talent & precision leading them to another tight tune.
The atmosphere continues to diversify with “Android’s Lament” really put the ‘alt’ into alt-folk. Crazy pulse and rhythm to this song that really swirls, swells and envelops…it’s a totally different mood & rhythm than they’ve put into the record so far as Cheeney Bear And The Spaceman continues to spread-out and show different sides of SPACE TAXI as the album heads towards the end. A set of sounds that blend more exotic-ideas and fuses together a whole bunch of instruments and tones – “Android’s Lament” was starkly unique.
Ending the album on the notes, ideas and skills that have made this record great from its beginning to end – the harmonies start out the final tune, “War Boy” and continue to shine right through to the end of the album. Hitting that up-tempo stride and truly smooth-roll through their music they have found themselves comfortable in at multiple points throughout this record – “War Boy” was a real all-encompassing snapshot of what this band has done so very right throughout this highly-inventive and innovative record. LOVED the final thirty seconds on this record…they’re gorgeous! SPACE TAXI caught me completely by surprise to tell you the absolute truth…I didn’t realize this would be so incredible captivating and addictive to listen to…or how instantly they’d win me over on this fantastic new record.
Find out more about SPACE TAXI direct through their pages below!