1134 Soquel Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA 95062
9:00 p.m. Thursday, March 7, 2013
The Sam Chase:
When your band is called Cosmic Suckerpunch, you had better be prepared to back that name up with some pounding, stellar rock and roll. Good thing songwriter Ari Welkom and company deliver on spacey licks and heady songs, rooted in blues and funk, and indebted to imaginative fantasy rock music in the spirit of Led Zeppelin. With a driving rhythm, Cosmic Suckerpunch has invaded the L.A. scene, and with their self-released debut, Good Morning, the band plans on waking up the rest of us with a primal scream.
There's a reason L.A. has become synonymous with making your dreams come true. Hollywood and the Sunset Strip having been cranking out stars for more than a century, whether purposefully or coincidentally, and new discoveries come every day. Take the case of Welkom, discovered as an actor before teaming up with guitarist Fabien Hameline on a movie set. The two realized their shared interests and respected talents could lead to a different kind of artistic avenue, and they first formed the musical act Ghost Robot in 2009. While that moniker's cuteness dried up pretty quick, they eventually recruited drummer Adam Timmerman and bassist Sebastian Hameline, Fabiens twin brother, for the full line up of what is now Cosmic Suckerpunch.
At first holed up and honing their chops in coffeehouses and small clubs, the band's popularity grew in the city of angels and they soon graduated to historic venues like The Viper Room and the House of Blues. Their eclectic and tightly packed sound easily brings in a wide fan base of both geeks and casual listeners. The group plays up a sparkling tongue-in-cheek science fiction vibe throughout their otherwise straightforward music, with themes like robot love and time machines popping up regularly and Welkom often adopting a Ziggy Stardust like swagger when he endearingly croons and stutter-starts his lyrics. Combining that nod to the original space oddity, the group zeroes in on perfectly timed effects and a nonchalant, happily head banging rhythm that never fails to produce a sing-along/jump-along kind of atmosphere.
Cosmic Suckerpunch is expanding their universe, starting by self-releasing their debut record, Good Morning. Even with the understated album title, the band transforms their live sound into a classic rock album, full of the same glimmering exuberance they've become known for. Having recently found themselves opening festivals and seeing bigger stages, the group is now ready to rock on a level of, ahem, cosmic proportions.
by Charles Swanson (MySpoonful) 12/27/11