COSMIC PSYCHOS: Down on the Farm: 12” EP

Dunno how valid this statement is in this modern era of globalized everything, but it used to be, if given enough time, every scene eventually coagulated around a specific sound or thing that made what they did unique from what was coming from other areas—OC had the whole surfy thug-pop dual guitar thing down pat, Minneapolis planted the seeds that would sprout the “alternative nation,” Arizona and Texas both cornered the markets on both the furious and the weird, you get the idea. Australian bands have long been able to distill damned near any style of rock down to its most primal, gooey center and bend, smoosh, and twist it into some very interesting origami patterns—AC/DC, Rose Tattoo, Birthday Party, Scientists, Hard-Ons, and Radio Birdman all played in different ends of the sandbox, but if you listen with surprisingly little effort, you’ll find that the first half of this sentence applies to all of ‘em. As this reissue of their 1985 debut EP shows, Cosmic Psychos kept to tradition by boiling their tunes down to their bare essentials before adding heaps of sludgy tempos, hyper-fuzzed bass and guitars, and simple lyrics about workin’, dames, and such, the results of which are tunes by turns punky, hypnotic to the point of being almost psychedelic, and just all-around fuggin’ heavy. If that description reminds you of some of the output from a certain clutch of bands primarily based in the West Coast, especially the Pacific Northwest, a few years later, suffice to say one need do no more than listen to L7’s “Fuel My Fire” and then listen to the Cosmic Psychos’ “Lost Cause” off of their Go the Hack LP to hear how deep an influence the Psychos had on ‘em. Fine chance to revisit a fine debut, and the band’s apparently still goin’ strong and still strip-mining the same sludgy mountain, so you might wanna do some diggin’ around. 

 –jimmy (Goner)