Persona Non Grata

Written by: BV on 29/08/2013 21:30:31

Cosmonauts have been an object of interest to me for quite a while now, as their lo-fi psychedelia sound reminds me quite a bit of The Velvet Underground in a slightly heavier version – a take on sound you just don’t seem to encounter that often anymore. With their fourth release, “Persona Non Grata”, Cosmonauts seem to steer in the general direction of a more polished, clearer and almost pristine sound whilst managing to maintain the sound of happy hippies on downers – an interesting contradiction in itself I reckon, but one that aptly describes their current sound.

Opening with the relatively upbeat “Shaker”, Cosmonauts seem to differ vastly from their previous image of scrambled and fuzzy lo-fi psych, yet somehow I find this sound both suiting and awfully interesting. The duality of their songs seem to shine through the much clearer production, and through the echoing and hardly distorted riff and the enigmatic vocal work it seems to become increasingly evident that these guys are in fact very close to a relatively unique and easily identifiable sound. Moving on to the delightfully simplistic and incredibly fuzzy track “Wear Your Hair Like A Weapon”, the aggressive side of Cosmonauts start to take shape on this album, effectively sending the listener through a downwards going spiral heading straight for a bad trip – or so it would seem, as the track gradually involves into an eastern flavored psych-pop track where the crunchy sound is abundant and the inspirations from the 60’s are clearer than ever.

However, as the album reaches “I’m So Bored With You” I too begin to, ironically enough, feel bored as the droning of this track seems far too overwhelming for my general taste. – Essentially proving to be an unfruitful excursion to the outer reaches of lo-fi psychedelia, with little-to-no importance to album in general.

Luckily enough, the former track seems to be a one-off on an album full of renewed energy, as the album continues with the fast-paced and highly infectious “Dirty Harry” and the highly memorable, nearly lullaby sounding album-closer “Summertime Blue” which, with its fantastic, nearly angelic sound qualities proves to be a blissful closing track to an album that, like various drugs, takes the listener through a series of uppers and downers.

In short, I think Cosmonauts are gradually progressing to become quite the interesting psych-band, and at this point they are definitely one of those outfits one should be keeping an eye on, if one is into this particular type of music. Good effort.


Download: Shaker, Wear Your Hair Like a Weapon, Summertime Blue
For The Fans Of: White Fence, Telstar Sound Drone, Sic Alps

Release Date 20.08.2013
Burger Records

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