Laika & the Cosmonauts


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The Finnish group grew, just a little, on this late-'90s recording in that they admitted more influences from post-early-'60s genres of music, such as techno, rap, sampling, reggae, and funk. The guitar tone, however, remains quite indebted to the surf and twang of their prime influences, such as Dick Dale, the Ventures, the Shadows, the Outlaws, the Tornados, the Sputniks, and so forth. It's not terribly deep, but it's witty, varied, and well-done instrumental rock, and the concessions to modernity fit in more unobtrusively than they do on many such efforts. It's also tied together by a certain sense of the extraterrestrial, as an echo of the vibe that encased the more mysterious side of early-'60s instrumental rock, as produced by Joe Meek and sometimes others. Note that although this was a 2000 release in the U.S., it was actually recorded way back in 1997 and first came out that year in Finland only (on Warner Brothers).

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