Home & News
  Tour Dates  Bio & Favorite Things  Photos  Articles & Reviews  Multimedia  Merchandise

(Click to refresh)
The Only CV Newsletter

Articles and Reviews

Easy Listening
SKYSCRAPER, Summer 2003

Yeah, the last year or two has seen plenty of reviews declaring that this or that band is "single-handedly saving rawk 'n' roll!" Hell, I may have even written one of two myself, because the face of popular music been pretty ugly in the land of Creed and Dave Matthews infested radio. The thing is, however, that there have been bands from Cleveland all along that were saving rock 'n' roll, and Cobra Verde has been foremost of them for the last decade. Battling back from another bout with a failed indie label, Cobra Verde are back with their album proper on the new label from Wayne Kramer, Muscletone. Quite the opposite to the mood the title implies (though it is kind of easy on the ears), Easy Listening unfols akin to one of those effortlessly rocking albums of old, like Mott the Hoople's lost punk classic Brain Capers, the first New York Dolls album, or AC/DC's Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap. The songs are anthemic, hooky to beat all, and full of life and energy. "Modified Frankenstein" is a lovely variation on the Dolls' "Frankenstein," and "Here Comes Nothing" is yet another fresh take on the bass riff of "Taxman," and the two more subdued songs at the middle and ending of the album are welcome and, surprisingly lovely (especially the closer, "Don't Worry (The Law's Gonna Break You)"). Teh band is led by John Petkovic, a hyper-intelligent, lanky character who recorded several albums with Eighties pioneers Death of Samantha, and later let Cobra Verde be co-opted into Guided by Voices for an album and tour, while leading a double life as a professional journalist and National Public Radio correspondent. To see them in action in a sweaty little club like Cleveland's Grog Shop is to see a band seemingly born to rock, nothing awkward about any of it. With semi-official member J Mascis in towm on both the album and the gig, there's added air of seeing and hearing something special. It's the kind of career-defining album unleashed at a time when there does seem to be a thirst for the real thing that just might make them, finally, a much better known secret. (DNL)

Back to articles and reviews