Saturday, October 02, 2004

Cosmic Psychos
Cosmic Psychos (LP)
What Goes On/Mr. Spaceman, 1987

Reason 3452 why punk rock is different than corporate music: Take this band, a group of Australian yobs, one a cattle farmer and bulldozer driver, who, probably unknown to half the people in their hometown, take off every few years to tour the world to mass acclaim and free beer. Here's how bassist Ross Knight explains it:
Ross: When work on the farm quietens down for me, then I can go overseas. That's the way we've always worked. I've got a full-time commitment to my farm - always have. The band is a hobby; it pretty much is for all of us really. Robby, our guitar player, has three kids under five years old, one a little bit older, so he's got his parental commitments. And I've got my farm commitments...
Well respected labels like Sub Pop and Amphetamine Reptile have put out their albums and they have about, what? 15 to their credit? No acrimony or breaking up here because there's one less thing to fight about (i.e. money). This here self-titled vinyl was their first LP after a spate of 7"s and such and although their guitarist (Peter Jones) would be replaced in a few years by the more acclaimed Robbie Watts, you can hear why such punk guitar connisours as Tom Hazlemeyer, Bruce Pavitt, Butch Vig (a later producer) and Mudhoney heard in them. Touchstones are Ramones, the Saints, Sex Pistols and garage rock in general (I'm reminded a little of this past Vinyl Mine entry). Mostly they write about things that disgust ("Lead Me Astray"), problems they are having ("No Money") and girls ("Jellyfish" about what a girl does to a guy is almost a blues piece).

I'm picking "Rambo", which almost sounds like The Fall except with better guitar -- it whips up a swirl of noise and sneers at the American icon and "David Lee Roth" which sneers in a more humorous way at another icon (warning: explicit lyrics!). One problem with this album as is often the case with first efforts is that the recording, partic. the guitar, is a bit too muddy -- like the microphone was in another room.

Best CP story is them mooning a booing audience in Sydney while opening up for Pearl Jam. They said they were inspired by the heavy metal cliche of band members putting their arms around each other and bowing at the end of a set. Others have apparently picked it up since. I really want to hear their all acoustic set that was originally done as a satire of Unplugged but is rumored to actually be pretty good - anyone have a few cuts they're willing to share?

Rambo
David Lee Roth

Notes:
There is no official site for the Cosmic Psychos but here is their Sub Pop page and a pretty comprehensive discography from Grunnenrocks.
Here's the interview with the Ross Knight (that I quoted above).
Their PR agency's page (cached - has a recent picture)

1 comment:

Eric said...

steal my thunder, will ya. I had "Hooray Fuck" all queued up and ready to go. Eh, save it for a rainy day. I love "David Lee Roth", one of all time Psycho favs. I have a 7" with a couple of the acoustic cuts. If my wife let's me near my stereo anytime in the near future I'll rip it.