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Mink Rat or Rabbit

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Album Review

The Detroit Cobras manage a pretty rare feat with their debut LP by transcending classic R&B material by sticking not to the original sound or slavishly recreating arrangements and stylistic trappings of the genre, but by finding the essence of the rough-and-tumble spirit of the original streetwise tunes the Cobras tackle on Mink Rat. That they've chosen as their material obscure R&B nuggets from such legendary labels as Fortune Records and tunes from the glory days of regional hits and AM radio (with the left-field cover of the Oblivians' "Bad Man" here titled "Bad Girl") only aids and abets their efforts to make this material uniquely their own. Led by rhythm guitarist Steve Shaw, the Cobras are so tight, instrumentally, that they're loose. The sound, in modern terms, is dirty garage rock, but emboldened by a sense of rhythm that eludes most trash rock and punk-leaning outfits. But, really, what the Detroit Cobras peddle is rock & roll, just as raw and funky as it was originally intended. Shaw may lead the instrumental charge, but it's vocalist Rachel Nagy that steals the show. With a limber, husky voice that recalls Peggy Lee gone to seed and chain-smoking while standing on a Detroit street corner, Nagy is soulful without resorting to histrionics. Instead, she infuses her treatment of the material with an alluring bad-girl bravado and a feral sultriness. Always one step away from falling apart, the Detroit Cobras manage to hang together long enough to keep the house party vibe rolling from track to track. A fitting tribute to the spirit of rock& roll and a reason to go dig through the crates to hear the originals.

Customer Reviews

Detroit Cobras Mink Rat or Rabbit

A total surprise. Had never heard them before and then, whammo, they popped up on Pandora and elicited the "wait a second, who the hell is that??" response. Detroit Cobras have snaked into my musical consciousness … Rock on!

One of my favorites

The Detroit Cobras are one of my favorite bands. Great albums, great live.

One of the greates girl fronted rock bands EVER!

One of the great mysteries of the current music scene and pathetic music business tragedies is that Rachel Nagy is not a huge star- a great voice, a song selection what deserves an honorary PHD on american music, a masterful soulful and real delivery, no gimmics, no software, least we forget Mary's energetic and evocative electric guitar driven renditions of scratchy R&B 45's into a current rough,rythmic and vital rock and roll. If you dont like this you have never loved, never had too many drinks nor lusted after someone so much it hurts.


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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Mink Rat or Rabbit, The Detroit Cobras
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Customer Ratings