Polska Radio One – “Cosmos Inside” (Trail Records 2014, CD/Download, Clostridium Records 2015, LP)

Polska Radio One are from the Ural city of Yekaterinburg in Russia and Cosmos Inside is their first album. The band are a guitar, bass, electric tampura (a sitar-like instrument), keyboards, drums, vocals quartet, with guest sitar on two tracks. The vocals are in Russian on some songs and English on others.

The Final Mantra opens the set and is a trippy but heavy driving psychedelic rocker. There’s a repetitive Om-chant vibe that lives up to the promise of the song title’s mantra, though it’s darker and more intense than your average meditation. The Fractalized Sky is a psychedelic rocker that measures up to the heavier end of the pop-psych axis. It’s very much in the Vibravoid realm, though we’ve also got some killer looped, snaking guitar that recalls The Beatles’ Tomorrow Never Know, and these sound even better accompanied by the droning tampura licks. Time-Eternity is one of the tracks with sitar, and along with ethnic percussion it injects the expected Eastern vibe into the music, though the guitar, tampura and keys are prominent in the mix, giving the music a trippy but full sound. The Rolling Stones at their most psychedelic, particular the song Child Of The Moon come to mind on this one. Shangri-La starts off with a similar feel, though played at a slowly lazy drugged pace. Later the keys lay down repetitive and completely hypnotic cosmic lines while the drums groove along slowly but assertively, and the guitar alternately solos and crashes. Morosim (2 C-P Dub) is a spaced out, Dub-infused piece, with a Beat jazz inspired cool to the cosmic grooves the band create. To The Delta Of Aquarius is another heavy intense rocker that reminds me of Vibravoid at their most space rocking psychedelic. I love the combination of fierce drumming, swirling 60s styled keys, soaring space synths, and liquid psychedelic guitars. Launch #93 features mission control-astronaut moon landing transmissions, backed by strumming acoustic guitar and shimmering soundscapes. This track is only 3 minutes long but sets the stage for the monster title track, a 10 minute slab of relentlessly hard ‘n’ heavy psychedelic space rock that’s like Vibravoid meets Tribe of Cro plus Polska Radio One’s penchant for 60s influences. Wow, absolutely smokin’ HOT! I was left feeling drained, but Polska Radio One know how to gently apply the balm, with one final song – Rhymes & Armonies – a totally trippy tune that sounds like a companion piece to the earlier Time-Eternity.

In summary, I’ve probably listened to this album a dozen times and it continues to grow on me. The musicianship and production are outstanding and we’ve got song and instrumental workouts in equal measure. Polska Radio One are a psychedelic band but can be completely spaced out, and they liberally apply 60s influences without in any way being retro. Looking at the band picture inside the CD, these guys look pretty young, so I can imagine great things in their future as they learn and grow. Highest recommendation! And kudos to Alexander and Vlad at Trail Records for continuing to find such great bands.

For more information visit the Trail Records web site at: http://trailrecords.us
The LP is available from Clostridium Records at: http://www.clostridiumrecords.com

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

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