The Cozzmos – “Out of Reach” EP

coverThe two brothers that anchor San Fernando Valley based group, The Cozzmos, were inspired by Guitar Hero staples, Iron Maiden and The Strokes, but you wouldn’t have guessed it if you listened to their reverb smothered debut. On their scuzzy garage rock EP, Out of Reach, Kevin and Louie Mendoza’s sound is more of a product of their home on the easy breezy west coast than their heroes.  Showing a sense of humor, the album cover sports a photo of a young kid trying to reach the back of a pickup truck, appropriately giving way to the album title.

Out of Reach hits the ground running with the fetching opener “Mellow Stellar,” setting the frenetic energy that’s omnipresent on the EP.  The track is all sorts of catchy with crunchy guitar riffs and hyper-powered guitar lines that would even make Dick Dale blush. Their post-punk influences begin to trickle in on “Before After,” where the first few seconds is reminiscent to the pre-Joy Division track “Ice Age,” until a flurry of synth-sounding guitars interjects.  More of their post-punk influences shine through on the gloomy sounding “Wash Boy,” as Kevin Mendoza sings over a groovy bass line: “Should I wait? / or slip into the void again?” Love is an underlying theme of the record, but it isn’t lyrically obvious like their bubble gum surf rock contemporaries, which is a nice change. The vintage surf rock stomper “Sorry” tops off the album with flare that sounds a bit like early Arctic Monkeys.

About a month after Out of Reach hit the band’s Bandcamp page, they’re already working hard on their next EP entitled Suicide By Sound which sounds like it’ll be a strong successor. Also, points to the band for sampling Kirk van Houten on the title track.