Review by Noise Magazine Nov 2010
Review: Songs From The Homestead
Cosmic American Derelicts released a self-titled record a couple of years back that showed remarkable ability to mix the energy of rock & roll with the spirit of roots music, touched up with some bluesrock here and there. They now return with "Songs from the Homestead" on which they continue their well-balanced roots rocking. From the opener to the closer, this album features 9 strong songs, sometimes a little heavier, sometimes a little more uptempo and sometimes they take the foot off the gas to slow things down a bit.
The opener, Sleepwalker Killer is an uptempo country rocker that immediately gives you the impression of stepping right in the middle of this CD. There's no need to ease you into it or to slowly build up for what's to come. No, the Cosmic American Derelicts are in top form, right from the start. And they continue to go strong with Same Old. This might be the album's top track. The influences from blues & bluegrass have a very prominent role in this fast-paced song that shows the cohesion and musicianship in this band as they all play an important role to lift this song to great heights. And on a more country-influenced radio station I would not see a reason for this song not to be one of the top rotations.
Barbed Wire Bed is slightly more gritty with its nice twang and bluegrass instrumentation. It has a bit of a modern honky tonk sound to it that suits the Derelicts very well. As always their music is performed with passion and straight from the heart. Even though, generally, the roots scene doesn't get the appreciation it deserves anymore, Cosmic American Derelicts have found a way to bridge the old sound with a more modern approach. Bands like this might just embody the revival of the americana, country & roots music all over the world.
On Bedside the band shows a gentler approach which definitely reaches back to old school country & western music. The sophisticated arrangement and absolute top performances build this song up to an impressive whole that might not be something radio will pick up on, but the song will no doubt be embraced by the many fans of the genre. After the impressive Bedside, the Derelicts continue with a song from one of their heroes. Townes Van Zandt, highly underrated himself, wrote a lot of great songs, but one of his very best is this Dollar Bill Blues, which is very tastefully performed by the Cosmic American Derelicts. The band is able to recreate the original feel of the song, yet they still manage to make the song sound more current. Van Zandt's arrangement leaves room to subtly accentuate parts of the song, and the Derelicts play it to near perfection.
We're already halfway through the record but thankfully there's more to come. And with the breezy, and even kinda catchy, Drink You Off My Mind, the band might have a breakthrough single on their hands. The subtle instrumental accents and strong vocals rely on a sound arrangement that features one of the better country songs I have heard in recent years. The song is not necessarily filled with sophisticated or complicated schemes and unnecessary solos. No, it's the honesty and simplicity that the song portrays that impresses.
The country-rocker I Only Steal Things When I'm Drunk is perhaps the funnest song on the album. With a more alternative sound, yet a very balanced arrangement, it manages to energize the mood and the lyrics that are typically country music, make everything just fit. And while you're listening to this song you can't help but think it must make one hell of a live song.
Last Words is another strong song, probably the most 'epic' on the album. It has strong influences from classic rock, though at times it slows down and provides room for a more rootsy sound. The whole song flows back and forth like the tide and shows a lot of creative freedom, free creativity a force that surrounds this excellent band. And unfortunately we've reached the very end of this CD. With Rocktopus we've reached the album closer. And while it's too bad this strong album is coming to an end, the heavier rock sound portrayed on Rocktopus both surprised me and amazed me. The impressive guitar work brings the arrangement alive, while the rhythm instruments provide a very strong base on which this song can flourish. The band brings in a top quality performance and delivers on every single note. The lack of vocals is something I hadn't even noticed the first time I listened to the song, which makes it even more impressive. But with music like this, you don't need vocals. The instruments speak for themselves. This is over 400 seconds of pure musical bliss.
I was already convinced of this band's musical qualities after I heard their first album, but with "Songs from the Homestead" they just proved they were able to get things even more together and bring the quality a couple notches up. Cosmic American Derelicts are a band that should be well-known and with the quality they show in their music it won't take very long until they find their way to a broader audience.
Inner Ear Music: CAD Debut
Cosmic American Derelicts play a mix of country & bluegrass influenced rock & roll. The edgy, yet natural sound this band produces is well-balanced and filled with a lot of effort by a group of very talented musicians. With their self-titled album, they are trying to bridge the gap between musician and listener, and with 11 solid songs they definitely succeed in doing that.
The uptempo Karyline is a fun song that features the best of rock & roll and the best of country mixed together into a very cool and balanced song that starts as sort of an easy introduction to this band's music. After the solid opener, Cosmic American Derelicts continues with Annie Walks, which is one of my favorites on the album. The mix of pop, rock, roots and even a little blues comes out wonderfully well. The band plays in its own distinct style with a professional and passionate approach that makes Annie Walks a song that has plenty of radio potential. And with the more uptempo, and slightly more alternative, You Say These Things they continue to go strong. The blend of styles and tight instrumentals back up the passionate vocals, making an infectious song that could cross-over to please fans in both spectrums of the bands music.
With Too Far, the band delves a little more into the americana side of their musical influences, but they hold on to their allegro tempo and keep the album rolling nicely. On Mainline however, they pace down a little bit, which provides for a nice breather and gives way for Cosmic American Derelicts to show that they also shine in that department, as it is one of the strongest tracks on the album. The build up and sound playing are a pleasure for fans of honest/real music, Mainline could become a modern day classic.
Some classic rock and blues influences find their way into Crazy which is a song that is still growing on me. At first I had to get used to it a little bit, but there are so many great things to explore in this song. It's a song that is built up in several layers and if you follow the tight rhythm in the drums that build a strong base for the vocals and accentuating guitar, you really do get to appreciate the real strength of this song.
Aren't We is very likely to become a modest radio hit, as it has a bit of a rootsy R.E.M. sound that makes it very accessible for a large group of listeners, yet the Derelicts still manage to stay true to their musical heritage of light heaviness. And with Eastern Bound they get back on the uptempo train and bring country music back to life. The enthusiasm and musicality shines as the group plays with joy and passion.
The groovy Ain't It Good To Lie is basically a bluesrocker that shows the depth of Cosmic Derelict's musical range, adding a bit of classic pop meets hard rock to their vibe. WIth Ms Raunchy they continue to portray that groovy sound, though the americana and blues influences are a bit stronger on this one.
We then reach the last track on the album, as Cosmic American Derelicts close up shop, for now, with a rock track Monkee (In A Dream). The song is surprisingly catchy and wraps up a long run of great music on a high note.
On "Cosmic American Derelicts", we hear a band that is destined for great things as they reach out to the greatest of influences in different genres and are showing the will and talent to become one of the greats in this mixed genre themselves
Godfrey Daniels Gig Review
Guitar Player Review July 2007
This is two minutes of relentless, crazed, and hyped-up rockin' bluegrass. It ain't a perfect romp—but it's played with an intensity and passion that levitates it far above a studied stylistic homage. It's also humorous and fun. Way fun. My ears are still tingling!
Michael Molinda Editor Guitar Player Magazine