The most recent full-length from Grand Rapids, MI's Cosmonaut was my favorite album of 2015, and this brand new seven-song, 24-minute EP might be even better, so it's bittersweet that it's also the trio's final release. It kinda breaks my heart, 'cause this was one of those few contemporary bands that really punched me in the face and made me lose my shit in the best possible way. A mere three tracks into The Late Great Cosmonaut, I was very literally yelling out loud about the fact that Cosmonaut should've been huge and it pisses me off that they're gone. If this music was being penned in 1994/1995, it's highly likely that Cosmonaut would've been scooped up by a major label and been on tour with Seaweed, or Jawbox, or Samiam, or any number of other wonderful acts with a knack for writing super catchy "alternative rock" with a gritty edge and actual substance.
God damn, what a fucking great, great, great batch of songs. I'm still picking up plenty of post-hardcore, alt.-rock, and emo/indie characteristics, but this time out they've branched out even further. Let's start with the undeniably Nirvana-esque "Team Spirit":
And the hard-charging energy and aggression—not to mention the killer vocal harmonies—of "Bred":
An approach taken to a damn-near power pop degree amidst their cover of The Police's "Truth Hits Everybody":
If listening to those three tracks does nothing for you, you're either deaf or dead inside: end of story. But there's also the frenetically rockin' pulse of opener "Surface"; the brilliantly bass-centric shimmer of "Owner of a Heart"; the jangly air of the yet-again-catchy-as-hell "Day After Night"; and "Kinda Dancy," which efficiently combines all of the EPs varying aesthetics within a single composition.
And what about that beautifully lush production, too? Jesus. It sounds fucking fantastic, man. Everything about it. Just awesome. Truly.
As I type this, I've only been aware of this EP's existence for about two hours, which is also about as long as I've been home from work, so... yeah, I know, I'm not exactly doin' a bang-up job of "writing" here. But my enthusiasm shall not be suppressed, damnit! In my rainbow dreamworld of boundless financial resources, I'd have thrown Cosmonaut a blank check in an attempt to keep hope alive. Instead, they'll go down in the tear-soaked pages of my book of the most criminally overlooked bands in the history of all living things.
R.I.P. Cosmonaut, and thanks for the tunes. I'll miss you.