1 The Black Rabbit
2 Spice Melange Spectrum
3 Infinite Death Of The Godhead
4 Father Sky, Mother Earth
The Cosmic Dead are labelled as a Psych/Drone/Space/Krautrock collective from Glasgow on their bandcamp site. Where this particular album is concerned I’d probably go for mostly for Space/Krautrock end of the spectrum, and maybe cast a cheeky nod in the direction of The Grateful Dead‘s spacier moments too.
Indeed, one of the things that initially drew me in was the similarity of the name The Cosmic Dead to that of the Grateful Dead, in combination with some jamming that made me think a little of Dark Star, plus a lot more of the moments where the [Grateful] Dead emerged from Space or a lengthy jam in their live shows.
I’d say any stylistic comparisons to The Grateful Dead probably end there, in that The Cosmic Dead have an altogether heavier sound and (at least to my unskilled ears) somewhat less by way of formal structure to their songs. Lyrically there’s not a great deal going on on this album, save for the odd chant or cry, for instance.
It strikes me that these guys would be excellent live, in much the same way the Dead excelled in that environment, and their recorded music would be great to have around if you were stoned, tripping or you had the sort of lengthy task to undertake – drawing for instance – that would allow you to drift in and out of the peaks and troughs of the music.
So what’s on offer if you’re not out of your gourd or faced by some enormous artistic undertaking? Well, the music has a meditative quality to it, with all the explorations of textures and tones building together before breaking apart and ebbing away, only to reform and repeat the process as the songs progress. As such it needs an investment of time to listen to it, as the payload isn’t delivered in a concise 3-minute segment, and is often dependent on the build-up that precedes it. Anyone not a fan of the genre might struggle with this, although I personally love the out-there spaciness of this particular album.
The cover is excellent, and crying out for a gatefold vinyl release to really show off the trippy Day Of The Dead imagery on the front and typography on the rear, in my opinion. However, having already seen limited cassette (150) and CD (500) runs that seems unlikely. Availability of the cassettes seems limited to eBay, but the CD is still available direct from Paradigms Recordings.