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Viva la Muerte

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Album Review

On Viva la Muerte, Cobra Verde does for the blues what fellow Ohioans the Afghan Whigs did for soul on Gentlemen — namely, revamp the sound into a straightforward rock approach while retaining the feel and thematics of the original form. Viva la Muerte contains stunning lyrical portraits of sex and death supported by guitar-driven dirge rock with overwhelming shifts in tempo, volume, and distortion. Together with the music, John Petkovic's voice warbles, shrieks, bellows, and intones the meaning that the words themselves don't suggest. And musically, Cobra Verde — borrowing from blues and punk — sounds fresh.


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 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...
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