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Cosmic Rough Riders - The Stars Look Different From Down Here

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 4 / 7 / 2006

Cosmic Rough Riders - The Stars Look Different From Down Here
Label: Select Label
Format: CD


Eclectic and near perfect new album from former Poptones signing the Cosmic Rough Riders

'The Stars Look Different from Down Here' is the first new release on Warners post punk offshoot label Korova for many a year. Korova never had many bands, even in its heyday in the early 80's, but its main acts were Echo and the Bunnymen, the Sound and Strawberry Switchblade. 'The Stars Look Different from Down Here' is the Cosmic Rough Riders' second album as a three piece and since original singer Daniel Wylie became a solo artist. They have moved on a lot from being a modern Byrds-inspired Scottish band on Alan McGee's Poptones label, but this a great record. 'It is I' opens the album. It recalls again the Byrds, but as if played by Oasis playing power pop. 'When You Come Around' is acoustic but also electronica based, sounding something like Muse and U2 without the politics. Singer and guitarist Stephen Fleming's vocals are big sounding, while his and bassist James Clifford's guitars have a strong rhythmic pattern. 'In Time' is the first single from the album, and sounds like an up-dated version of the Beatles. If only Oasis were as good as this, eh ? 'Don't Get Me Down' also recalls the Beatles, but, while the previous song sounded like something that John Lennon would have written, this song sounds like a George Harrison number with its big sunny lyrics. It sounds like a perfect summer hit. 'Lost in America' is more angst-ridden and has a distorted vocal that recalls both Muse and Radiohead before becoming more US radio friendly. 'Emptiness' is a sing-a-long happy number, with large jangly chords and perfect harmonies in the style of fellow Scots, Travis. 'Love Won't Free Me' is another summer number that features Byrds Rickenbacker guitars, and has a lovelorn vocal that is as much the Beach Boys as it is the Thrills. 'Flight' is more experimental and much darker and moody, before eventually developing a sing-a-long chorus that recalls the Brit Pop sound of the mid 90's. 'Just a Satellite' is more perky, and has Clifford on lead vocals. Upbeat in tone, it comes across as sounding like a happy version of the Smiths 'Girlfriend in a Coma'. Clifford's vocal is a tad more shouty than Fleming's, but there is some strong harmonising underneath it from Fleming and drummer Mark Brown. 'This is Your Release' sounds great from the start. Anthemic in tone, it would have thousands of heads swaying at a festival if only the Cosmic Rough Riders had thousands of fans rather than just hundreds. 'People are People' is more 60's flavoured, a hand-in-the-air waving number, with a damn good tune to boot. 'The Stars Look Different from Down Here' is a classic album closing number, piano based and as strong as McCartney's 'Maybe I'am Amazed' or Lennon's 'Imagine'. A damn near perfect album.

Track Listing:-
1 It Is I
2 When You Come Around
3 In Time
4 Don't Get Me Down
5 Lost In America
6 Emptiness
7 Love Won't Free Me
8 Fight
9 Just A Satellite
10 This Is Your Release
11 People Are People
12 The Stars Look Different From Down Here

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