Reviews of SELF-TITLED (2020)
Paul Kerr, HomeGrown Music Network:
“Cosmic Superheroes' new album is an epic journey across a musical universe bursting with energy and inspiration. Cosmic Superheroes' self-titled third album is a veritable tour de force across the musical universe. The Raleigh-based quartet captain an epic journey through a rich tapestry of styles and sounds, with spirited songs about love and life sprinkled with dashes of humor and flashes of inspiration.
"Dr. Thunderhawk" opens the occasion with a chunky timeless stomp that launches into outer space, unveiling an expansive psychedelic groove bursting with Brandon McLean's energetic guitar explorations and Bongo John's sweetly rolling drum fills. The short and sweet instrumental "Not My Name" offers a fierce and thick rhythm as Paul Benner's bass barrage flies past like a meteor shower. Things slow down for a refueling with the gorgeous melody and lush four-part harmonies of "Moonlight": "Looks like it's all coming together / Not much more we can say / Looks like we're gonna see better weather / And in this moonlight, I feel quite okay." The delicate beauty of the verses opens into a glorious keyboard solo from Paul Sanders and a passionate guitar solo that perfectly finds its place in the pulse of the song.
Clocking in at almost nine minutes, the soaring vocals and tasty changes of "Fly" reveal a distant world dotted with dynamic peaks and valleys that morphs into a funky shape-shifting guitar gallop. A momentary ease off the gas pedal leads to the hefty harmonies of "Change Your Mind" and "Angels in the Garden," whose guitar solo grows into a giant beanstalk right before your ears. McLean's solos have an inherent sense of melodicism, and take listeners on a musical ride filled with scenic overlooks and outright cliffhangers. These sonic starbursts don't just soar over the band but naturally lead them into new orbits together, with dazzling group interplay fitting like puzzle pieces, and a crisp production showcasing each instrument in its own slice of the spectrum.
The sweet and sunny big band jazz rave-up "Make Her Mine" is a lost radio transmission from the '50s beaming out to the stars, a catchy love song featuring guest heroes Brian Buzby on saxophone and Paul Kreader on trumpet and flugelhorn. The expedition returns to homebase with the groovy shuffle of "Just a Dream," a camouflaged tinderbox that detonates into a piercing guitar solo whose energy peaks like an exploding star.
Cosmic Superheroes have unleashed an album that at its core is a blast of honest rock and roll soaked through with devotion, emotion and an endless sense of fun. In a world gone mad, some extraterrestrial escapism is downright therapeutic. Looks like it's all coming together.”
Jackson Weldon, Dr. Bacon (multi-instrumentalist):
“When I put on Dr. Thunderhawk my roomate nearly choked on the watermelon he was eating when he heard the line “I can smell you had some tacos."
I thought the whole album was really great, great songs, great tone, great production, great playing all around.“
Tim Husk, Awen Family Band (guitar/vocals):
“When my roommate first put on Dr. Thunderhawk I nearly choked on my watermelon when I heard that line about tacos. I about died”
Fred Dees, Duck (drums):
“Gimme Some Mo of Dat! Each member's ability to compliment each other makes for a tightness that's hard to find. This album is like a musical time traveling journey going from the streets of San Francisco in the '60s to the muddy fields of Bonnaroo in the 2000s with four musical ambassadors coming together as one sound to be your guide.”
Scott Mann, WAVE 104.1 Myrtle Beach (Scott Mann's Headshop):
“The new self titled album from Cosmic Superheroes is exactly what this troubled world needs right now. A FUN record with great grooves, songs that are just long enough for a studio album, and a sense of humor that never allows the band to take anything too seriously, except of course their playing. A summer devoid of music and so full of weirdness needs this escape. Crank it, dance, and enjoy!”
Casey Chanatry, Jahman Brahman (guitar/vocals):
“Cosmic Superheroes brings a variety of sounds and feels wrapped up in top notch studio production and musicianship for their third, self titled studio release.
Dr. Thunderhawk kicks things off with a ragin' riff and catchy vocal melodies that make you want to go out to a festival or just cruise around. The back and forth of the playful lyrics with the instruments on the verse draws the listener in before getting to the chorus that sort've reminds me of a Tenacious D song! Driving guitar lead at the end has some nice melodies and rhythm interplay! Not My Name picks up where Dr. Thunderhawk leaves off with what could be a "B" or jam section for it when played live! Cool Jimmy Page esque octave fuzz on the guitar! Moonlight is my pick for the song of the album. A nice ballad with stellar vocal harmonies and a great feel. The back and forth vocals on the verses showcase the two lead singers and their individual voices in a unique way before the other harmonies come in. Another great tune for a festival set, maybe at the end to bring it all home and end with one more epic jam with the piano>guitar solos. Change Your Mind with its anthemic, driving lyrics and unique arrangement brings a touch of an Avett Brothers vibe to the party. The string accompaniment at the end is a great touch as well! Angels in the Garden hits with an interesting intro that keeps the listener guessing and holding on as it grows into a rocky, yet soaring middle section with a catchy vocal chorus w/ some stellar sounding harmonies and vocal effect into a passionate guitar lead with some hummable melodies to end it off. Make Her Mine brings a nice easy breezy vibe after the epic Angels ending. A classic almost 50s esque love song with a New Orleans-y twist with some unique instrumentation with the horns, acoustic guitar and more nice vocal harmonies. Really nice guitar lead in this tune and a cool fake-out ending back into an instrumental reprise. Just a Dream is a sweet laid back groove that drips with those one of a kind evening>nighttime festival vibes. I think I feel it coming on?! Some really cool effects and tones throughout this track too.
I hear hints of some modern jambands like PPPP and Spafford, but with a classic/psychedelic rock base. Great guitar work in this one too.”
Tom S., music fan, audiophile:
"Great music and superbly produced. Well done!"
Review of BIG STAR (2018)
Robert Hadley, JamBandPurist.com:
“Cosmic Superheroes really impressed me with songs like 'What!' and 'Sunray.' While the singer-songwriting nature and quality of the lyrics are prominent and poignant, I still enjoy the more jam driven compositions.”