11 February 2009

Cosmic Michael - 1969 - Cosmic Michael

Quality: 2.5 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 3.5 out of 5

Cosmic Michael seems to have been a shambling, hippy mess. Fortunately that sort of thing gets our attention here at the psychedelic garage. The music here is far from genius, but it does give us a window into the late 60's scene that a more masterful work would most likely transcend. Cosmic Michael takes us down into the trenches with barely competent playing and compositions that would be most at home in an exploitation film. No this doesn't deserve any sort of legitimate recommendation, but there's a charm factor at play here that makes it worth digging out from the past.

Cosmic Michael's music is another one of those things that I could easily imagine in the psychedelic coffee house set of a Herschel Gordon Lewis film (if that name doesn't ring a bell, I highly suggest googling it). We have a drummer that basically just keeps a beat, barrelhouse piano, cheeseball organ, and groovy basslines. The vocalist (the cosmic one himself?) is far from actually being good, but he does sing with an infectious conviction. I find that the songs are best the farther the band stays away from the blues, or at leasts manages some sonic weirdness on top of a blues structure. Amateur hour psych plays much better than amateur hour blues and boogie in my opinion. Due to the quality level, there aren't really much in the way of standout tracks. "Now That I Found It," which starts off the album, gives you a pretty good idea what you're in for. Of course we can't ignore that track three is Cosmic Michael's personal theme song, and it is the keeper from this collection. It also would fit best opening the aforementioned exploitation film. Does anyone know if such film in fact exists?

I'd say that Cosmic Michael is probably best suited to hard-core psych junkies. Those folks will likely appreciate the charm flowing through this albums grooves. The quality here is not too good and should in no one represent the best of what psychedelic music has to offer. Let's face it, my complements for this album are pretty back handed at best. The complaints about superstardom in the lyrics of "Too Much" are extreme wishful thinking, if not hysterically ironic.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Hiya Dr Schluss,
I generally agree with your ratings but I think this time you slipped on a banana.
Definitely lo-fi, but this one has an excellent cosmic blues vibe, and man, I love that organ. Right up there with live Dead '66 and Country Joe & the Fish live act from '67..
Cosmic Michael Theme is outta sight.

Peace, brother.

Anonymous said...

I cant help, but agree with similarly anonymous poster.
I had a bit of a moment when i first heard "Now that i found it", and that did permeate into the next few listens. Almost to the point where i will have to be wary of how many times i listen to it, as to preserve that "far out" feeling.
Dr Schluss, i have much respect for your posts, they have brought a greater understanding to my musical appreciation and a colour to a gloomy week. This album has done that too.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a great theme our Michael got there. I must agree with you, the quality is not the best but it certainly adds a distinct charm to the music. I really like this album

Unknown said...

sounds good to me!!