Simulcast (SubLime Records)
Kosmos Express

By Robert Gruber

There are actual British bands, I'm sure, that wish they sounded as British as this SoCal quartet. No matter, though Kosmos Express rock like mad, and on this, their second album, they absorb and spew forth their U.K. influences much more convincingly than on their '97 debut, Now.

At under two minutes, the opening cut "The Force" is a pure rush, so exciting that you'll want to hear it again right away before proceeding to the next song. "In My Face" is exceedingly brash, betraying a bit of hero worship with lines like "don't want to be a seller/want to be Paul Weller." "Take Me Away" boasts fuzzed-out guitar work and quick stop/start arranging. With extra added touches of mellotron and cello here and there, an undercurrent of 60's Brit Invasion and psychedelia rolls underneath Simulcast, particularly on the 7-plus minute closing track, "Starface."

Singer/guitarist Rob Goreab (formerly with Clash of Symbols) seems a bit more tempered vocally on this album than on Now, where he tended to lean too much toward Oasis territory. Drummer Mark Powell seems to take his cues from the Jam's Rick Buckler, using his snare to yield maximum tension/release. G. J. Torres' bass work undergirds without getting in the way, yet reveals some surprising touches as on "The Force." Overall, a very cool record that you must hear.