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Easy Listening

Cobra Verde

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Album Review

Appropriately released on MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer's MuscleTone Records, Cobra Verde's third full-length, Easy Listening, is nothing less than a masterpiece of glammed-up sexual obsession, agit-pop antics and indie rock glitter. With a sound that goes from David Bowie playing garage rock ("To Your Pretty Face"), to catchy-as-heck, late-'70s arena rock ("My Name Is Nobody"), to Led Zeppelin-meets-surf rock ("Modified Frankenstein"), this Cleveland band takes Mott the Hoople, Thin Lizzy, T. Rex, and the Stooges, and makes one amazing amalgam of sweet references and contemporary, feel-good rock and roll. Other records from 2003 have been more innovative and certainly heavier, but Easy Listening is so golden, so upbeat, and so perfectly right-out-of-the-Midwest's sleeper-hotbed of rock that it simply sounds bigger than life — like the Queens of the Stone Age's fun-loving, land-locked cousins that dream of the California sun and surf. Those jagged guitars, on "Throw It Away," for example, and unstoppable choruses ("Do you think we're whores!?" from "Whores"), are infectious in a way that takes you to another time and place — some alternate universe where rock stars are still willing to live carefree and reap the benefits of the lifestyle.

Biography

Formed: 1992 in Cleveland, OH

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

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...
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Easy Listening, Cobra Verde
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