Space Travel with Cosmonauts

Time warps are possible and space travel is real.  That is only if you got to see Saturday night’s performance of a California-based quarter, Cosmonauts. As one of the five openers for the Growlers’ Caravan of Stars tour, sponsored by Burger Records, the band unplugged the audience from their physical plane and inculcated Bowery Ballroom under a tide of distorted drone flood, and psychedelic haze. It is evident to note that with their cosmic-inspired name, and palpitating energy,  the group heavily filters 90s psychedelic drug-rock pioneers, Spacemen 3. The band reconfigures repetition and utilizes sound monotony that bring the listener and the performer onto the same wavelength. Throughout their deliverance of convoluted layers of guitar and noise riffs, Cosmonauts step away from the logical and transcend into a new dimension of space rock.

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Catch these guys before they float away!

10.8 @ TERMINAL WEST, ATLANTA, GA

10.9 @ MERCY LOUNGE, NASHVILLE, TN

10.10 @ Lamar Lounge, Oxford, MS

10.11 @ FITZGERALD’S, HOUSTON, TX

10.12 @ THE PARISH, AUSTIN, TX

10.13 @ The Karova, San Antonio, TX

10.14 @ The Monarch, El Paso, TX

10.15 @ Club Congress, Tucson, AZ

10.16 @ Black Cat Bar, San Diego, CA

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Royal Baths Drown Bowery Ballroom

Opening up for a sold out show with eruptive headliners  like the Dum Dum Girls and Crocodiles sets out towering expectations on a Friday night at Bowery Ballroom. One of the opening acts, a recently migrated San Francisco quartet Royal Baths hyped the energy with their multi-layered screeching guitar rips and liquidating phased vocals, building a brooding wave of ear-candy distortion. A brainchild of shoe-gazing  low-pitched drum progressions and scorching melodic ranges, Royal Baths are a change of taste in the New York horizon.

 

Viktorsha Uliyanova

Album Review: The Naked and Famous – “Passive You Aggressive Me”

The pathway to success has been a relatively uncharted one for New Zealand based five-piece The Naked and Famous. After recording two EPs in the home studio of vocalists Thom Powers and Alisa Xayalith, the band returned to that same studio, with few expectations, to record their debut LP.

Lead single “All of This” failed to impact but then, a funny thing happened; the album’s second single, “Young Blood” shot to the top of the New Zealand pop charts. Suddenly, an indie band from Auckland was getting more spins than Katy Perry and B.o.B, and soon thereafter pivotal blogs in the U.S. and U.K. were lauding the group. So, by the time Passive You Aggressive Me was released in overseas, The Naked and Famous had been named the “Best up-and-coming band” by NME Magazine.

Consumed in a vacuum, “All of This” and “Young Blood” would suggest a debut album much different than the one they’re actually featured on. Powers, who co-produced the album with band-mate Aaron Short, has a clear affinity for the 1980’s Shoegaze Movement and the more recent Nu Gaze Movement. As such, he and Short provide a glossy sheen of synthesizers and distorted vocals that make for a wonder-wall of sound on both of the Passive You Aggressive Mes singles. However, the album, as a whole, is far more eclectic in its offerings.

“No Way” starts simple enough with Xavalith’s fragile vocal over an acoustic guitar, but subsequently grows into a boisterous number filled with tambourines, echo effects and heavy percussion.  While “Spank” is an outright dance track in the mold of LCD Soundsystem’s more commercial work, and softer cuts like “Frayed” and “Girls Like You” show true versatility. The Naked and Famous may not reinvent the wheel on their debut album, but they most certainly make it turn.

Overall: B+