Cosmonaut is one of those bands that almost seem too good to be true. When I first listened to them, the first thing I thought was... ok, which one of these guys was in a supergroup and is now starting over fresh? Turns out, these guys are all starting fresh. Just out of school, the quartet sounds like they've been at this for years, displaying a maturity in their songwriting far beyond their lean years. Sounding something like Pavement's slack tied together with Cymbals Eat Guitars' epic emotionalism, Cosmonaut has 'hype' written all over them. Just listen to 'Hurry Up' EP opener 'Your Knife (My Side)' and hear what could be the envy of Julian Casablancas, coming through singer John Paul Manley's tenor. Produced by Kyle “Slick” Johnson (Wavves, Modest Mouse), the band's debut album is everything you want to hear from a young band in line with age old expectations of how classic rock songs is supposed to sound. Their next show is on Friday October 19th at Legion Bar, with Fast Years, The N'ere Dowells, & others. - Mike Levine (@Goldnuggets)
"Uptempo" and "Pop" are by themselves two concepts that - in the business of being an indie band - can take you quite far; but if on top of that you add to the equation also comparisons to The Smiths, then the hype can get out of control. Brooklyn's Drowners have more than one similarity with Morrisey's act, and although they will surely feel belittled by such comparison, they should not, because no artists really managed to be The Smiths' worthy musical heir yet (like, for example, XTC were for The Beatles, Robin Hitchcock for Syd Barrett, and The Strokes for Lou Reed - uhm, maybe...).
The band's 3 songs debut EP features the remarkable single "Between Us Girls" (streaming below) which immediately throws us back to the days of "Meat is Murder," with the electric guitar alternating between jangly parts and arpeggios, and Welsh frontman Matt Hitt singing semi-melancholically about some girls' hair length - rather than about how big they are... The edge is slightly punkier, while the songwriting reveals an almost clinical concision (the song clocks in just under 2 minutes, with the first chorus coming in after 26" - A&R allergic to intros will dig that).
The second song, "You've Got it All Wrong," beats a similar musical path, tackling the infinite well of inspiration that (for Brits) is life at the pub, with the difference of a slower bridge, which acts as a breather for the final chorus. Final track "A Shell Across the Tongue" is the punkier of the bunch, but also the one with the least memorable melody.
This is obviously a band with enormous songwriting potential. If they'll manage to write songs as good as these and integrate their influences in a more mature and personal sound, the world can be theirs. - PDG