Cosmic Rough Riders
The Stars Look Different From Down Here
Glasgow-based trio Cosmic Rough Riders have been a cult band since forming in 1998, and have broken into the top 40 of the singles chart on four occasions. They began work on this, their sixth album, at the beginning of 2005 in Spain, and will be touring the UK in June.
For an indication of how not to make a good first impression, slip this disc into your stereo and press play. "Is It I" is the epitome of unimaginative indie music, droning on relentlessly at the pace of a tortoise. Thankfully, this is far from the sound of things to come, and "When You Come Around" makes amends with shimmering guitars on a grand and epic track. The dynamic anthem "Don't Get Me Down" features some smooth harmonies, but "Lost In America" again shows the limitations of CRR, lacking a catchy hook or chorus.
Featuring an intro that sounds like Supergrass slowed down, "Emptiness" makes up for weak verses with an infectiously melodic chorus that demands attention. Also likeable are the "do do doo" backing vocals to "Love Won't Free Me", which rides the vibes of brighter days. But this is where the compliments end, for much of the remainder of "The Stars Look Differentâ¦" is far from memorable. "Fight" could be a reject track from Travis (what's happened to them?) and "This Is Your Release" takes far too long to develop. Being a decent record up until its halfway point, the album quickly loses any resonance of quality and is no longer interesting.