Straight out of Pittsburgh and ready to take the world by storm are The CosmoSonics. Interesting name, great musicians. Their effort Junk Rock…For Lovers! is a sleaze-glam masterpiece from beginning to end.
The album starts with the high energy “Stun Gun Fun.” Almost immediately, I knew someone in this band has to be at least a little familiar with Alleycat Scratch, because “Stun Gun Fun” sounds like it would fit easily on the amazing Deadboys in Trash City. Lead singer and guitarist Gary D’ Grave has a voice as sleazy as Eddie Robinson of Alleycat Scratch. For those in the glam know, a comparison to the brilliant Alleycat Scratch is a great endorsement.
The boys in The CosmoSonics like using canned sounds to enhance the production of their tracks. Think the roar of the crowd, and you’ve got the underpinning for “Rave It Up!!,” easily the strongest track on Junk Rock…For Lovers! Here, the guitars are crunchy and the bass line isn’t buried. In fact, there are a few snippets of bass solo, which is always welcome on glam albums. The lyrics are good too. Consider this: “Hey, hey if you wanna play/It’s rock n’ roll baby, bottoms away.” Catchy lyrics and powerful guitar riffs are the cornerstone of quality glam metal. “Rave It Up!!” has both.
“Skinpop 19” is another stand-out track on Junk Rock…For Lovers! Clocking in at just over three minutes, the track features syncopated beats, harmonica and screaming lyrics reminiscent of Steven Tyler. The chorus is anthem-like, and if The CosmoSonics ever hit big, this will be one of their great live songs that has every person singing along.
If you’re into songs that feature key changes, then “Punchdrunk, Baby” is for you. The track is short and energetic and features a nice guitar line and great backing vocals. The lyrics are simple and easy to discern. Sometimes great music isn’t about reinventing the wheel, but reproducing what works. “Punchdrunk, Baby” works.
The final track “I Luv Hollywood” begins with more canned sounds, this time of crickets. Is this a nod to the seemingly dying Sunset Strip scene or some other political message? The muted vocals are a little hard to understand and that’s clearly the point. The themes here are The Rainbow Bar and Grill, fights, and rock n’ roll heaven all set to an acoustic campfire song. Kumbaya people: The CosmoSonics are bringing back glam!
The CosmoSonics are:
Gary D’Grave – Vocals and Guitar
Chaz Zalapski – Guitar and Vocals
Harrison Dray – Bass and Vocals
Angel O -- Drums