Elements of Cosmos / 2013
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There’s a lot to digest when listening to the seven songs on Elements of Cosmos’ eponymous EP. Recorded at Ball State University in 2012 and released earlier this year, the EP covers a breadth of stylistic ground revealing an eclectic variety of influences. The album kicks off with the rootsy rock “Welcome Home,” a twisted mix of Hootie & the Blowfish-meet-Red Hot Chili Peppers or, better yet, a Rusted Root for the new generation. The guitar playing of Adam Lentine and Mike Needler brings to mind the playing of John Frusciante, not just on this song but throughout the disc, adding a bit of funk/rock to James Valdez’s very Darius Rucker-sounding vocals.
“I Swear” turns up the amps for a good old, straightforward rock song. This is one of the better tracks on the EP, with guitar soloing adding to the mix of this Sister Hazel-type jam.
The reggae-ish “Who Are You Trying To Be” and the introspective “Give Me More” occupy the middle of the disc and happen to be the standout tracks as well. Great songwriting is the key to these two songs, and they’ll stick in your head for days. Rounding out the disc are the darker “End of Me,” the stripped down sound of “Lady Comet” and the breezy “Down by the Riverside.”
Though a variety of musical styles can sometimes turn a listener off, the range of offerings on this album allow the songs to sound fresh even after repeated listens. The band doesn’t appear to be necessarily aware of that sense of musical variety because, no matter what style the songs may lean toward, they still sound like they came from the same band.
Highly consumable and ready for the radio, this is an EP that should appeal to just about anyone who gives it a listen.