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The Only CV Newsletter

Articles and Reviews

April 2003
Cobra Verde
Easy Listening

Despite his art-rock leanings, brainy Cobra Verde motormouth John Petkovic has never been loath to let it blurt. So it's either to his credit or chagrin that by the time the rock-is-back brigade hit the bars, he had long ago bellied up and paid his tab. "Nightlife," CV third album appeared back in '99, but Petkovic is on the prowl again, which is eminently clear within the first 10 seconds of "Easy Listening." Opener "Riot Industry," with its sassy, swaggering power chords (courtesy of guest J. Mascis), big-beat drums, canned applause and lyrical nods to perfume and blowjobs, make it a comically sordid descendant of such music-biz poison letters as the Byrds' "So You Want To Be A Rock 'N' Roll Star" and the Kinks' "Everybody's a Star (Starmaker)." And with that, it's all sluts for themselves, jaded Cobra fingers jabbling in all directions, including the foyer mirror. An Iggyesque vocal turn elevates "To Your Pretty Face" into the realm of punk-noir cabaret; everybody's a users and everybody's been used in the Cheap Trickish power pop of "Whores"; 70s arena crud gets a spitshine for the self-mocking "Modified Frankenstein." Meanwhile, the spirits of Ray Davies, Mott the Hoople and the Glimmer Twins are dolled-up and dancing in the wings of the CV rawk theater. As subtle as, and harder than, a flying mallet. Don't let the album title fool you. --Fred Mills

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