“I didn’t want to be a copycat,” says Andre Punkov, the 43-year-old tattooed frontman of new local punk band Cosmic Beasts. “I quit music for a very long time. Eventually, I ended up in Vegas and kind of recuperated and was inspired again.”
The psychedelic punk band released its debut full-length, An Antagonist, last month, embracing avant-garde surf rock and delivering lyrics in near-poetic fashion. “Down on your luck?/So am I/We are stuck/In chaos,” Punkov yells on “Down on Your Luck.” Loaded with gritty guitars, a Farfisa organ and dissonant, Russian-tinged howls, An Antagonist plays like a nightmarish jaunt through Disneyland. With a burlesque dancer tattooed on one forearm and a full house along his knuckles, Punkov fits right in among the tough crowds of Sin City. His story sets him apart, however.
Punkov (yes, that’s his real name) fled the USSR in 1989 to escape mandatory military service. “I would have ended up fighting [the] Mujahedin in Afghanistan,” Punkov says. “It was the last Soviet invasion, and I didn’t want to fight anybody, [the] Mujahedin in particular.” Punkov ended up first in Vienna and then Italy before moving to New York, where he lived for 15 years as a poet. He remains a writer at heart.
“I’m not really from this place. Even though I dreamt of coming to this country, it’s still very different. I was on a spiritual quest,” says Punkov, who seems to have found additional inspiration in Cosmic Beasts bandmates Joe Hamrock (drums) and Brian Gathy (bass) and Koryn Krueger, who contributed bass and organ on the LP. “It’s a dream come true.”
Cosmic Beasts open for the Seis Pistols with Stagnetti’s Cock on July 25 at the Double Down.
Summer is heating up for fans of local hard-rockers Adelitas Way and Otherwise. Adelitas Way will drop third studio LP Stuck on July 29, and will celebrate with an in-store performance at Zia Records on Eastern on July 31 at 7 p.m.
On September 16, Otherwise will follow up its 2012 major-label debut with new full-length Peace at All Costs (first single “Darker Side of the Moon” is downloadable now). Otherwise opens for Buckcherry August 1 at the Hard Rock Hotel.
Acoustic punk project Bobby Meader Music has signed to indie imprint Antique Records. The label, in conjunction with Substream Magazine, will release a 7-inch titled Breakfast After Noon in September. … Psychedelic garage-rockers Trevor and the Joneses will rerelease debut album There Was Lightning on 180-gram vinyl through Plane Groovy Records. The album will be available at Record City in September.