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Articles and Reviews

"Copycat Killers" (Scat Records)
Losing Today
Summer 2005

Ohio's Cobra Verde are best known for their short stint as Guided By Voices when Robert Pollard hired them to be his backing band for 1997's Mag Earwhig album. What they should also be known for is Copycat Killers, an album of all covers that actually works; a rare feat in modern music. The main reasons why Cobra Verde have succeeded where others have failed is that they chose an eclectic array of source material to cover (New Order, Pink, Leonard Cohen, Hawkwind, The Fall, Donna Summers, The Rolling Stones...etc.) and they take many of the songs in new directions which make them sound fresh and exciting. Pink's pop anthem "Get The Party Started" is deliciously re-imagined as an early 70's soul jam that wouldn't have sounded out of place on a Marvin Gaye or Curtis Mayfield album. New Order's "Temptation," is given a facelift and presented as a low-key garage rocker with vocals that sound like Pulp's Jarvis Cocker with a bad hangover. Leonard Cohen's "So Long, Maryanne," perhaps the album's centerpiece, is an almost 7 minute epic of U2 grandiosity that captures all of the sentiment of the original version while adding in some haunting atmospherics. Other songs stay closer to their original versions: The Troggs "I Want You" retains the "Wild Thing" chords and caveman stomp of the original, "Teenage Kicks" keeps all the pop sensibilities of the Undertones 1978 classic, while adding in some Merseybeat ornamentation that makes a song you've probably heard dozens of times before sound new. -
-- David Mansdorf

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