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Boston Phoenix
May 15-21, 2003
Cobra Verde
Easy Listening

Thereís never been any doubt that Cobra Verde are the stage upon which John Petkovic, founder of erstwhile mid-í80s cult faves Death of Samantha, acts out his rock-and-roll fantasies, though he was kind enough to take a side role of sorts when the band served as Robert Pollardís Mag Earwhig-era Guided by Voices. A master of reinvention (and currently a rock critic at the Cleveland Plain Dealer), Petkovic has of late developed an abiding fondness for glam rock at its sleazy, Ziggy Stardust best. Leaving the starmen and space odysseys for others to tangle with, he mines the music for its powerhouse guitar riffs and wham-bam choruses. Indeed, Easy Listening is something of a rock version of a short-story collection that stays fairly down to earth in its character studies of the freaks and "Whores" who party " íTil Sunrise" ("Everything looks beautiful with blurry eyes"), only to confront the workday worldís "Modified Frankenstein" ó "Iím a product of plastic surgeries . . . a walking, talking forgery . . . living on borrowed time" ó on their way back to hang out with the down-on-their-luck alcoholics who populate the melancholy "Throw It Away." Thatís just Petkovicís idea of Easy Listening.
--BY MARK WOODLIEF

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