Monday, March 19, 2007


Never Mind The Bolshevicks: The Best of The Space Cossacks

Since this Washington, D.C.-based surf collective only released two albums in its relatively brief existence (from 1996-2000), a best-of collection would seem to be unnecessary. But both of those discs were out of print, at least on CD, as of this compilation's appearance in 2005, so Never Mind the Bolsheviks is now the Space Cossacks' only legacy. And it serves them well. The 24 tracks squeezed into 70 minutes cherry-pick the best from their minimal catalog and add a pair of live tunes as well as some rare singles and unreleased nuggets for the collectors. While there was nothing particularly unique about the Cossacks' retro Dick Dale/Ventures approach, the instrumental quartet is a better than average contemporary surf combo with a deep understanding of its genre. But, thankfully, that didn't prevent the band from writing originals that can proudly stand next to the few classics they cover. The '50s sci-fi space themes are highlighted by song titles such as "Solaris Stomp" and "Transylvanian Orbit," as the reverb and vibrato are cranked up to 11. It's all good, trashy fun and, based on these caffeinated tunes, it seems that lead guitarist Ivan Pongracic is one of the great lost instrumental guitarists of the '90s.** See note in comments regarding Ivan's whereabouts. His lines are propulsive and jittery, with just enough flamenco, Middle Eastern, and punk influences to bring intriguing twists to a genre not known for them. Liner notes from label owner Art Bourasseau and other fans provide relevant history, but the lack of detailed track information explaining which album and/or year each song was recorded is surprising. Regardless, the album brims with raucous, rocking music and is a fitting final testament to a band that sadly surfed too far under the radar.

1 The Space Victory Theme
2 Red Sunrise
3 Solaris Stomp
4 Bombora
5 Transylvanian Orbit
6 Metsakukkia
7 The Defector
8 The Jewel of Duende
9 Tsunami Tsurprise
10 Space Probe
11 Exolumina
12 The Apes of Wrath
13 Black Sand
14 Penetration
15 Transatlantic Orbit
16 Cossack Rocket Patrol
17 Escape from Gulag 17
18 Planet of the Apes
19 Mir Rescue
20 Gunmetal Express
21 Hava Nagila [#]
22 Tsar Wars
23 Moroccan Adventures [live/#]
24 Red Sunrise [live/#]


lcdlover said...

I love your wonderful blog and good taste in surf/instro. I would be great if you could re-post Space Cossacks as zip or rar file as one can organize the tunes by track and eliminate dupes.
Thank you,

Anonymous said...

Superb! Thanks for the Cossacks... any and all surf is appreciated.


Anonymous said...

BTW, Ivan Pongracic is not a lost guitarist... he fronts The Madeira in Indianapolis...


Anonymous said...

space cossacks rule !!!!!!!!! you just need to make these a mp3 format . i know there all good songs i won't think of deleting a one but i still like to have them tracked. ivan is a guitar god!!!!!!!!!!

Trustar said...

Sorry for the ALBW files but this was an old upload. You can unpack the ALBW files by using the great ALBA program. Find it at

Most future postings will be in .rar or zip


Anonymous said...

They do rule too! I dunno whats amatter with me these days i just listen to surf and nothing else!It's a drug.
BTW. There's a really big front cover jpg for this if you search google images with the album name.

Thanks mate!

Rockandre said...

Thank you, buddy! Awesome band!