This is a nice little disc from Montreal Prog/Psychadelic Rockers KOSMOS. This is one of the rare cases where the band name aptly describes the music. KOSMOS adds a very science fiction/outer space feel to their approach of Psychedelic instrumental Rock. Maybe it’s the VOIVOD connection? Michel “Away” Langevin is their drummer, so I guess there was a subconscious influence during the writing process to give this album an out-worldly feel.
The best part about KOSMOS is how fresh they sound, ironically because it sounds like it belongs in the 70s Prog Rock movement. Instrumental, trippy, funky and ambient, KOSMOS has tapped into the part of the psyche that likes to hear repetitious, hypnotic melodies with subtle build-ups and changes, sending you down into a trance. It’s generally laid back, although there are some rocking numbers as well, like “Grand Grizou”, but the more upbeat songs is still within the framework of that “outer space” mood that is established by most of the songs. What helps a lot in setting the mood are some of the sound effects, that sound taken straight out of a 70s science fiction movie. This is most apparent in “Septial”, because of the lead melody sounds like a transmission signal from another planet. Well, I guess the imagery keeps coming up if I’m generally listening to this at night and looking up at the stars, which is most likely the best way to enjoy the album. The instrumental songs sound so peaceful, looking up at the sky at night with all the stars will feel a bit transcendent.
The two songs that don’t fit the umbrella of “Progressive Rock” are “Much Too Old” and “Amerique Innavouable”, the latter which has French lyrics. They are the only two songs with any vocals, and they are much more Post-Punk than Psychedelic Rock, although elements of the latter seem to creep in. It’s a nice contrast with the more laid back, trippy sounds on the rest of the album.
This is one hell of an impressive debut, and I hope the band manages the make a name for itself in the Post-Rock circles that are popping up now. They deserve all the attention they can get.
(Online October 7, 2007)