Psych Insight: Album Review, Mugstar/ Cosmic Dead split (Evil Hoodoo)

Mug: Cos split

I have to admit that I’m not a big fan of split LPs, I know that they are a great thing for many bands since it gets their music out there for pretty much half the cost, and introduces them to a wider audience; but as a buyer of records I still like the idea of a single band on an LP. One recent exception to this rule for me was the Cosmic Dead/ Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs split on the Old Noise label. I liked it because the two sides complimented each other, and neither was noticeably inferior to the other.

So the question is, can The Cosmic Dead do it again for a sceptic such as myself? Well in teaming up with Mugstar the result was never really in doubt, since I like both bands for quite similar reasons. Both are, to my mind, equally good both live and on record; but in slightly different ways. Both come across as these powerful and controlled forces through their recorded works, taking the listener to great highs and through huge valleys of sonic wonderment – the both set out a fantastic topology of sound which you can both sense and picture.

Live, both bands seem to perform at the edge of chaos adding layer upon layer of power and emotion as they take you to the very brink time after time; with both you lose a sense of time and space as the visceral vibrancy of the music washes over you. There aren’t that many bands that can do this: Mugstar and the Cosmic Dead both can.

So what about this split LP then? Well what can I say. Thom at Evil Hoodoo is to be congratulated on bringing the two together since they are truly a cosmic match, and the two sides of this LP (although it is only one track each side they are long enough for this to be warranted as a full album) is as good a place as any for someone to find out what these bands are all about. Both sides take you on a cosmic journey of sorts. Mugstar (Breathing Mirror) in a late Barrett/ early post Barrett Floyd sense, and The Cosmic Dead (Fuckahyoocastaluh) employing Krautrock tropes to power the journey.

Neither, it has to be said, is a career defining set; but together they do make me think again about the value of split LPs, because when they work this well I start to wonder why more bands don’t get together and do them. And check out the Sonic Youth Goo-inspired art work too – I like it!


The two bands are doing two special co-headlining gigs to mark the release of this LP:

Dec 11 at The Soup Kitchen in Manchester

Dec 12 at The Total Refreshment Centre in London

Don’t miss them, they’re going to be special – see you in Manchester (expect a review of that gig here soon)!

You can find more Psych Insights by Simon Delic here.

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