Although the Los Angeles-based Cosmonauts have been at it since 2009, the group is just now making its Atlanta debut tonight (May 16). The group, often called "the Beach Boys on downers," has a shared love for the timeless psychedelic sounds of the Jesus and Mary Chain, the Velvet Underground, and Spacemen 3, as well as various others '90s shoegazer acts inspired by the same influences. "The band started because the other guitarist and singer, Derek Cowart, and I met after I saw him playing an acoustic Spacemen 3 cover at a party," said guitarist and singer Alex Ahmadi.
Despite their origin and influences, the Cosmonauts are often lumped in with the current crop of modern garage-punk bands. Specifically, the other young groups that have had cassettes and records released by Fullerton, CA's Burger Records. A still unnamed full-length is expected to come out late this summer on Burger, though that doesn't mean the new material will be lo-fi. "These songs are the cleanest we've ever recorded, but if people still want to call it garage, that's fine," Ahmadi said.
Ahmadi doesn't completely disavow the group's links to garage-punk, though, pointing out that the band's sharing of lead vocal duties and some of the its guitar tones are influenced by that sub-genre.
Joining the Cosmonauts on this current jaunt across the states is Burger label mates the Garden, a group consisting of the young, androgynous Shears brothers, Fletcher and Wyatt, playing short, stripped down blasts that come across like an art-punk take on the Minutemen.
The Cosmonauts, the Garden, and the Casteouts play 529 tonight (Thurs., May 16). 9 p.m. Free. 529 Flat Shoals Ave. 404-228-6769.
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