Artist: Kosmos Express
Label: Sublime (Kingsway UK)
Time: 10 tracks/36:21

Brit-pop is dead. After the initial wave of bands that followed in the footsteps of Blur and Oasis, things quieted down on that front as most of them have either diversified or disappeared. Even Blur, once crowned kings of britpop, are returning to their punkier roots and employing remixers to liven up their recordings. And so, since their UK distributor insisted on describing them as brit-pop, I was a bit worried about how Kosmos Express would sound. Thankfully, however, they have mixed some brit-pop with a few pop-punk influences and a dashing of electronic thuds and beeps, escaping the fallout.

The album works fairly well, with several pretty catchy tracks at the beginning, but it is a little inconsistent. They make their British influences clear both in the music and in the reference to Paul Weller in the second track, but to these British ears there is a very strong American feel to the album--especially in the vocals which have more of the MxPx style punk edge than the whiney Britpop sound. After the first couple of tracks, the album isn't really all that memorable, but is sure to appeal to some. They fail to shine lyrically, and a number of phrases feel pretty awkward, such as the refrain in the first verse--"I'm mad into the force." I don't imagine that those the album will appeal to will be all that concerned with the lyrics, but the band will need to work on them if they are to develop.

By James Stewart