Live At The Baked Potato
"Cosmosquad, led by guitarist Jeff Kollman, is one of the last remaining instrumental rock outfits tearing up the Los Angeles area with unabashedly virtuosic guitar, bass and drums, and this live album, recorded at the famous Baked Potato club, amply demonstrates why: the music is good. While all three instrumentalists in Cosmosquad can certainly shred up a storm and play tight unisons like possessed Siamese triplets, the band is not a conglomeration of idiot savants (unlike, say, Planet X) whose considerable virtuosic skills seem to prevent the musicians from writing compelling music. Cosmosquad simply knows how to write a tune or two and play it with the conviction of a cat chewing on a telephone cord.
No frilly shirts or hyperspeed minor harmonic arpeggios here: Cosmosquad plays instrumental rock, not Bach'n'roll. But this ain't AC/DC: the compositions are melodic ("Journey Through Life"), varied, well-constructed and memorable ("Road to Tanzania"), and the band's performance and stage banter are refreshingly free of gimmicks and posturing. The overall sound is enormous: each instrument is captured and mixed perfectly, and the sparse use of pre-recorded backing tracks during the live performance gives the recording a big-production feel while retaining the spontaneity of a live show. The track list is a varied selection of Cosmosquad and solo Jeff Kollman tunes, with an emphasis on rocking songs, a hefty dose of funky funkiness, and a satisfying helping of guitar-geek antics ("Creepy Spider", "I.N.S. Conspiracy"). The band is ultra tight and everyone in the room is evidently having a great time.
If your taste favors the rocking side of the instrumental guitar spectrum, you owe it to yourself to check out this excellent live recording." - Satan Stole My Teddy Bear