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Life, Love and Leaving

The Detroit Cobras

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Album Review

Admittedly, the Detroit Cobras are simply a cover band. But with their release Life, Love and Leaving on the Long Beach label Sympathy for the Record Industry (the label responsible for the White Stripes' incredible international success), they've been given a bit of credence and an opportunity to showcase their amazing homegrown chops. These 14 songs, all Motown, soul, and good ole rock & roll standards, are the perfect material to bring this Detroit garage rock combo to life. Guitarists Dante Aliano and Maribel Restrepo set the frets afire with seething twangs and fuzz-box chord progressions. And singer Rachael Nagy attacks each song with aplomb, like Janis Joplin crossed with Mary Wells — a hearty bar band crooner with showstopping resplendence. In fact, Nagy's most impressive track on the record is a cover of Wells' "Bye Bye Baby." Other standouts include her stunningly sincere renditions of Jackie Deshanon's "He Did It" and Otis Redding's "Shout Bama Lama." Like labelmates the White Stripes, the Cobras' sound is stripped down to '60s proportions so that the production takes a back-seat to heart-rending voices and screaming guitars. In this regard, Detroit mainstay Al Sutton triumphs, producing a minimal gem of an album. Life, Love and Leaving is clearly one of the best records of the Detroit garage rock scene. Though the Cobras may never really get their due in the shadow of so many more flashy, press-friendly Motown rockers, they have the much-coveted gift of musicality that sets them apart from most of their noisy neighbors.

Biography

Formed: 1995 in Detroit, MI

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

One of the earliest groups to emerge from the Detroit garage rock scene, the Detroit Cobras developed a reputation as the Midwest's finest (and most distinctive) cover band — while the bandmembers devoted themselves to performing other people's material rather than recycling established hits, the Detroit Cobras dug deep into the well of vintage R&B and primitive rock & roll sides, building an individual identity out of lost classics from the past which they modified to fit their swaggering...
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Life, Love and Leaving, The Detroit Cobras
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