Cosmopolis

Cosmopolis

4.0 1
by Laika & the Cosmonauts
     
 
While 20 years is a nice round number on which to throw in the towel, the Finnish surf and spaghetti Western-influenced lads don't take the easy way out on this final bow. Instead of the typical "best-of" set, these 27 nuggets showcase the quartet's eclectic tendencies during its two-decade run. Running a bit-bursting 76 minutes, the cuts are drawn predominantly from

Overview

While 20 years is a nice round number on which to throw in the towel, the Finnish surf and spaghetti Western-influenced lads don't take the easy way out on this final bow. Instead of the typical "best-of" set, these 27 nuggets showcase the quartet's eclectic tendencies during its two-decade run. Running a bit-bursting 76 minutes, the cuts are drawn predominantly from six (five studio, one live) American albums on Upstart, Evidence, and Yep Roc, most of which are out of print as of this set's appearance in 2008. Fans will be thrilled to find a few difficult to find tracks that open ("Metropolis Theme") and close ("Mary's Theme") the disc. What makes this such a listenable collection, though, is the variety of styles Laika span, all unified by a common cinematic thread. Although the band stuck to its instrumental guns, there is a wide swath of territory at its disposal. Flicks were a logical source for much of the group's material, yet covers of the obscure "Ipcress File," "Psyko" (sic), "Experiment in Terror," and "Get Carter" themes show that Laika dug much further than just redoing "The James Bond Theme" (which they did cover but is not included here) for inspiration. Most of the songs are original and seem like the soundtrack to an as yet unfilmed movie. There are nods to their Dick Dale roots on "Surfs You Right!," a punky grunge attack driving "Look! No Head!," twisting sci-fi for "C'mon Do the Laika!," some '60s Western dust kicked over "Land's End," and even funk-based blaxploitation on "Circumstantial Evidence." The sound is never cluttered, with guitars and keyboards weaving around each other while leaving room for the music to breathe. Those who missed this gifted combo the first time around have a terrific sampler here, especially if the original discs never come back in print. It may not be all you will ever need from one of the finest and least heralded contemporary vocal-less bands, but this is a perfect summation of a group that had the chops, the creativity, and the tunes to be far more popular than it was.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/16/2008
Label:
Yep Roc Records
UPC:
0634457262423
catalogNumber:
2624
Rank:
95277

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Cosmopolis 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
poughkeepsiejohn More than 1 year ago
Here's a real find. I never heard of Laika & The Cosmonauts until about a year ago. I discovered them after listening to Rhino Records' "Children Of Nuggets" collection. The song was a combination of the theme of Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho" and "Vertigo"---it was called "Psykgo"! Here's what I discovered about this band: one) they play surf music, two) they've been recording since 1988, three) they're from Finland (!) and most astonishing of all, four) in 2005, they wrote new music for Fritz Lang's legendary, silent sci-fi classic, "Metropolis". And I'll say it again, I only heard of them about a year ago. The best music is always the music that takes us by complete surprise. The folks at YepRoc Records have assembled more than a few of those surprises on "Cosmopolis", which spans the career of Laika & The Cosmonauts from 1988 to 2008. It includes a few obvious songs, such as theme from "One Step Beyond", also known as "Fear". Some of the titles speak for themselves---"Surfs You Right!", "Experiment In Terror", "Look! No Head!", etc. Yet, there are elements of quasi-disco ("Disconnected"), punk ("NY 79") and even some Eastern European sounds here ("Vendetta"). Best of all, the album begins and concludes with some of the music the group wrote for "Metropolis". Although it's a compilation, this is one of the most delightful albums I've heard in a while.