Search - Space Cossacks :: Tsar Wars

Tsar Wars
Space Cossacks
Tsar Wars
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (15) - Disc #1

2nd release from this critically acclaimed pop/surf band who've been compared to Dick Dale and the Ventures. 15 tracks including an enhanced 'Tsar Wars The Novella', written by Jamie Miles along with band pictures and info...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Space Cossacks
Title: Tsar Wars
Members Wishing: 4
Total Copies: 0
Label: Musick Recordings
Original Release Date: 6/21/2000
Re-Release Date: 7/4/2000
Album Type: Enhanced
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Styles: Hardcore & Punk, Indie & Lo-Fi, Oldies & Retro
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 612645001627, 612645001610


Album Description
2nd release from this critically acclaimed pop/surf band who've been compared to Dick Dale and the Ventures. 15 tracks including an enhanced 'Tsar Wars The Novella', written by Jamie Miles along with band pictures and info. 2000 release. Standard jewel case.

CD Reviews

Transcending surf...
idvego | Alabama | 04/06/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I've been hooked on the Space Cossacks ever since I bought their split 7" with the Penetrators back in 1997, a recording I didn't think they could ever surpass. "Tsar Wars," however, does surpass it, by far.
I hear you asking, "what's so great about these guys, it's just surf, right?" Shut your filthy little mouth- I don't think you even have to like surf to enjoy the Cossacks! The music is purely aesthetic, and largely flawless. People who buy music looking for something that is beautiful, entertaining and fresh can find it in "Tsar Wars." Sound a little too commercial for you surf fans? You never learn, do you? There is nothing commercial about the Cossacks- in fact, they are much less commercial than most of your surf acts, today. While many of the same spacing and racing themes are present in the material, the Cossacks embelish their titles with clever little puns and humor. The music itself follows the same path. Very rarely does the band drift into the typical 1st, 4th, 5th blues structure so common (overplayed!) in surf, and the riffs use all sorts of scales unimaginable to some one who has been hearing the same regurgitated music for so many years. Pongraic is a madman on this record, playing some swift, fantastic leads that blow your mind- if he impressed you on "Interstellar Stomp," he will doubtlessly drop your jaw on "Tsar." Let's not take credit away from the others, though, because much of the song writing and supporting glue is in the other members. Gray and English contribute about the same amount of writing on this record as "Stomp," and the band is without a doubt tighter than they ever were. (And in lieu of "Stomp," you must realize how tight that is!) It always amazes me how well these people click with one another; you hear one song and you read the liners- "Oh, that's one of Pongraic's." Then you hear one that has all the same elements in it, and you realize that it was written by Gray! (Who is a fox, by the way...) On top of it all, the album appears to be a sound track of sorts. Included in the album, in fact, (it's an enhanced CD) is a story that it corresponds with. It's not an outstanding read or anything, but it's fun and it's new. The album itself is brilliantly mastered; the songs flow into one another as if they were one. Perfect, simply perfect.
My personal advice to people who've yet to be turned on to the Cossacks varies. If you're a traditional surf fan, start with "Interstellar Stomp," it's a lot less fresh than this one. But if you're sick of Dick, the Ventures, Pyramids and the thousands of bands that monotonously rip them off today, go with "Tsar Wars," you won't be disappointed. Those of you who already fell in love with the Cossacks way back when, be aware that this record blows away everything they've ever done.
My only complaint is that this record doesn't seem to be available on vinyl. A real shame.
Choice tracks are "Apes of Wrath," "The Defector," "Escape From Gulag 17" and "Tsar Wars." Believe me, I'd list 'em all if I wasn't just giving recommendations. Go to their site to hear some samples."
Instro Delights!
Keith Hannaleck | Adams, MA | 07/16/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The highly anticipated release from the Space Cossacks has finally arrived! On the heels of the enormously successful release "Interstellar Stomp", the group reaffirms their position as one of the top surf-instro groups on the planet with "Tsar Wars", their second full length release. The wait between albums was three years, but definitely worth it. Ivan Pongracic and the group really stoke the instrumental fires on this master stroke of reverb and twang. If the group isn't rocking and ricocheting endless waves of reverb into your gray matter, they will soothe and warm you with a gentle wake of soft and intricate renderings of instrumental delight, reminiscent of The Shadows. The lead guitarist, Pongracic, seems to get better and better as time passes. He plays an effortlessly ultra fast picking style that many guitarist would be challenged to match. I can see how a man with the talent level that he has will eventually test the unknown waters, jumping into different genres to explore and create some jaw dropping music. I am as guilty as everyone else, and tend to focus on Ivan, it's hard not to. What about the rest of the group? Well, without them, Ivan wouldn't be doing what he does so well. Mark English lays down a nice rhythm on guitar for Ivan to drop his snappy riffs upon, while Catherine Gray (bass) and Doug Hoekstra (drums) provide a possessed power driven rhythm section beyond compare. It's a should have the fastest and best skin pounder for great surf-instro music. Fellow musicians and fans will be very pleased with this sure to be classic of surf-instro by The Space Cossacks. This group is rewriting the script for the surf-instro music community to follow. Just when I thought they could never top "Interstellar Stomp", along comes "Tsar Wars" to give everyone food for thought when debating what could be the greatest instro album ever made. It just doesn't get any better than this. Keith Hannaleck May 21, 2000 MuzikMan's Sound Script"
Henry R. Kujawa | "The Forbidden Zone" (Camden, NJ) | 05/07/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"As a fan since Sept.'97, buying every CD, vinyl and cassette this band's appeared on, I tended to prefer their hyperactive covers of classic oldies to originals. Until NOW! After the long wait for their 2nd full-length album, I bought a copy of TSAR WARS from the first place that got any in. I was NOT disappointed--in fact, I was STUNNED beyond all expectations. If there's any old bands who The Space Cossacks favor, it's The Atlantics (for POWER) and The Shadows (for MELODY). Repeatedly blown away by their energetic performances, until this disc somehow I hadn't really noticed how heavy The Shadows' influence was. Here they manages to be both more exciting AND more musical than ever before! With only 2 covers ("Space Race" and their 2nd version of "The Crusher") the originals totally overpower not only the new album, but everything they've ever recorded before! As highly as I've ranked The Space Cossacks before, this album is by a WIDE margin the BEST thing they've done so far!Faves for me include "Exolumina" (currently my #1 SC song!), "Space Race", "The Apes Of Wrath" (see if this one doesn't blow your mind!), the title song (going where few "surf" bands have ever ventured--pun intended), and "Tradewinds". Between their eerie "out there" sound, song titles, artwork & (in this case) a sci-fi story included right on the disc, The Space Cossacks are making the most of their "gimmicks". But, like Los Straitjackets, their music is SO good these guys don't seem to NEED any. Along with TRAPPED IN HYPERSPACE WITH... DESTINATION: EARTH! and Mystery Action's HERE'S TO ANOTHER YEAR, TSAR WARS is one of my top 3 favorites of the year 2000!For even more, check out MuSick Recordings' MONSTER PARTY 2000 ("Transylvania Orbit", "Romanian Dance Of The Undead") and Double Crown Records' SEASONAL FAVORITES VOL.1 ("Christmas Island")"