When he isn’t illustrating the latest brain-munching episode of The Walking Dead or drawing Slipknot at Metal Hammer’s overexcited behest, comic book artist Charlie Adlard plays drums in Cosmic Rays. Clearly the notion of taking it easy is quite beyond the indecently talented swine.
Veering from the trashy, psych-tinged garage rock of Electricade and Amused 2 Def to the blissfully melodic and subtly Rush-like Ray, the band’s self-titled debut doesn’t exactly set the rulebook ablaze, but there are enough moments of delicate experimentation and occasional sonic curveballs here to ensure that this is a diverting collection of well-crafted tunes.
Shades of early 70s prog and space rock seep through the cracks on the pulsing Answerphone and the sprawling, alien-baiting Abduction Song while Need For Speed kicks off a riff for which any self-respecting NWOBHM band would cheerfully donate a kidney or two.
Chuck in the irresistibly radio-friendly The Grind and one final, gently epic prog odyssey in the form of Redemptions (Parts 2 & 3), and Cosmic Rays amounts to an endearingly skittish and enjoyably robust hill of spliff-centric beans./o:p