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Cobra Verde

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Although many first became aware of Cobra Verde when they joined forces with Robert Pollard in Guided by Voices, they are certainly not just any ordinary backing band. The band rose from the ashes of the out of control, Cleveland-based Death of Samantha, who released three full-length albums and one EP on the Homestead label. The new group wanted to achieve a more atmospheric sound than its predecessor, and did so by the time of their 1994 debut on Scat Records, Viva La Muerte. Combining the impact of punk with the urgency of early-'70s glam rock, the record was voted one of the year's best independent releases by both Rolling Stone and Request magazine. It was also around this time that the group toured with fellow Scat recording artists Guided by Voices and struck up a friendship with GBV leader Pollard, which would later come in handy. 1995-1996 saw the group release a flurry of singles, as well as the Vintage Crime EP, which helped increase the band's popularity with the alternative rock crowd. It was during 1996 that Robert Pollard decided to split up the original lineup of Guided by Voices, and Cobra Verde approached Pollard about being their replacements. Pollard agreed, and the results can be heard on 1997's Mag Earwhig!, considered by many as the best GBV album since 1994's classic Bee Thousand. Cobra Verde is still a separate group, though, splitting their time equally between both bands, and also finding the time to release a compilation of singles and unreleased tracks entitled Egomania (Love Songs) in 1997. Easy Listening appeared in 2003 from Muscletone Records, followed by Copycat Killers in 2005 and Haven't Slept All Year in 2008, both from Scat/Scamcity. ~ Greg Prato

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