Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Beyond The Silver Sea

Disappointing Todd Rundgren gigs, Tascam 4 track cassette recorders, animal oddities, 
The Monkees, cider, children's TV shows from the 80's and sci-fi movies (good and bad)
 are all ingredients to the sounds of Dr Cosmo's Tape Lab.

Jeez - if that description doesn't encourage you to step inside Dr Cosmo's Tape Lab then I don't know what will, maybe this blog will help!

The bands debut album Ever Evolving Lounge was a favourite of mine last year; jam packed with McCartney style melodies, a lysergic take on guitar pop, a nod to the Beta Band and a glorious feeling of 'we couldn't give one flying f**k what other people are doing - this is the kind of music we love and create.'

Needless to say I have been looking forward to their follow up for a doesn't disappoint.

Beyond The Silver Sea is available on silver (naturally) vinyl via Sugarbush Records and comes with artwork, a badge and also immediate download. You can also get it on CD or just opt for boring old download.

Anyway, on to the album....

It builds on everything I enjoyed about Ever Evolving Lounge and adds a little more; each song is proceeded by a narrative about our hero Max in a kind of Small Faces Odgen's Nut Gone Flake way - done in a nice nutty Glaswegian manner.

The songs are exceptional; Joe Kane and Stuart Kidd are extremely talented musicians creating some majestic moments, particularly on The Mirror's Reflection and The Star's My Destination and the closing trilogy. If their debut was perhaps a collection of songs by friends seeing what they could do, this is definitely an album.

We are introduced to Max before harmonies, beat, walking bass and a sense of urgency bring in City and the Stars that closes with classic Beatles-y backing vocals and a raucous guitar solo followed by a glorious breakdown.

The Mirror's Reflection is absolutely stunning melodic pop rock; The Beatles and Macca are in there for sure, the songwriting, playing, vocals, structure and production are exquisite. This is currently my favourite song of 2015 - genius.

The twist towards the end of Face Of Another is pure Exile Stones, raw harmonies with a country twang.

You can cry in the heart of the morning
You can cry 'til your eyes are blue
You can cry in the middle of nowhere, my dear
You can't stand tears not falling over you

The way Time Enough For Love develops and then flows beautifully is a joy, as is the dinky piano solo, while the guitar solo on The Painted Birds positively fizzles.

Meanwhile, in the narratives, Max has found a time-machine and travelled back in time to Camden in 1966; Pie, Mash and Liquor is a mash (pardon the pun) of Chas n Dave, Blur, Lovely Rita and Gorillaz.

Dr Cosmo's Tape Lab come up with eccentric ideas for songs and then use them as platforms to show off their outrageous musical talent; Storehouse Of Fools being a prime example with some superb electric guitar lifted straight from 1966.

If a love of the Small Faces influences the narration between songs, then it is also displayed on songs like Dr Chester's Pleasure; total power pop.

Meanwhile The Star's My Destination sets controls for outer space and in under 4-minutes it takes you on a trip you won't want to end, just float away, feel alright......

Joe Kane and Stu Kidd - the genius talent behind Dr Cosmo's Tape Lab

I love the raw soulful feel that Dr Cosmo's can conjure; there is a pureness that a lot of modern bands could never obtain due to over production and the use of too many programmed instruments - including drums. And also due to the fact they just aren't as talented as Kane and Kidd.

The Long Sleep soon leads into Space Dream and it doesn't get much more dreamy; the harmonies are lush and we flow to the closer and title track Beyond The Silver Sea.

Another day is gone
And you're still holding on
To a dream tomorrow just won't bring

Beyond the silver sea
Dreams don't come for free
Don't it take much time
For your dreams to fall in line
It might cost you half your mind
We can try to find
Things we want to be
Beyond the silver sea (be yourself through everything)

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