By: Martyn Coppack

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Released on March 25, 2016 via Blackest Rainbow Records

Any new release from colossal space travellers The Cosmic Dead is always worthy of celebration and when that release turns out to be a fully fledged album, that excitement becomes two-fold. Or in this case, four-fold as over four interstellar tracks, The Cosmic Dead rev up their engines and deliver something of a master-class in psychedelic sound.

To call Rainbowhead an album in the sense that it contains a series of songs would simply be wrong though and instead you get a series of tracks interlocked with one motive, which is to take you as far out as they can with their throbbing, motorik sound, whilst exploring spaced out facets and even a slightly melodious interlude before thrusting you, arms waving once more, into the final descent. A swirling, thudding vortex of sound interspersed with a keen sense of when to change tack. Yes, this is The Cosmic Dead doing exactly what they do best.

It’s almost jarring at first as opening track ‘Human Sausage’ literally lurches in with nary a sense of opening up. Unusual for The Cosmic Dead who often extend their tracks with dub-like moments, here we are thrown straight into the riff as if you meet the tracks at a point where it is already warmed up and just about to explode. Once you settle in other parts then become obvious and that abrupt start becomes a figment of the past.

‘Sky Burial’ introduces that melody before ‘Inner C’ heads straight out into motorik territory again in what is a stunning three track opening all aligned as one track. The music sounds immediate, fresh, but also as if it’s always existed and as the bass beats its stubborn pattern in your mind, kaleidoscopic images of space flitter through the rest of the music swept up in the sheer exuberance of it all.

That exuberance comes to the forefront on the tremendous title track, which for twenty minutes beats out its incessant riff against phenomenal drumming. The bass lines pound away with no hint of letting up and indeed, create a sort of epiphany as the music continues its inexorable journey to where-ever it’s heading. Its heady atmosphere instils a sense of euphoria as the wall of sound envelops every sense of your being.

You feel both bereft and cleansed by the end as silence drops and echoes of what you have just listened to drift away. Taking their cue from the much louder parts of their repertoire, The Cosmic Dead have created a short sharp snap of sound and for forty minutes they manage to sound like the greatest, loudest, most spaced out band ever. You almost get the sense that they are holding back though and that this is just a small part of what they are capable of. That is for a later date though, for now we have Rainbowhead, which has just rewritten the rules for the UK psych scene. Spaced out and loud, The Cosmic Dead take no prisoners here.

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