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CMJ New Music Monthly: April 2003
Cobra Verde
Easy Listening


One has to wonder what the garage rock vets felt when the new wave of oh-so-well dressed imitators broke big. In Cobra Verde's case, it's hard to imagine they even noticed. Sticking with the dirty but always poppy glam-punk hybrids they've been toying with since the early '90s, Cleveland's finest are back with their best set in years. Easy Listening overflows with simple hooks and fuzzy guitars, putting to rest any ideas that Cobra Verde is little more than just a Crazy Horse to Bob Pollard's Neil Young. John Petkovic isn't exactly a crooner, but his ragged delivery of lines like "I want to die a violent death" are still as believable as they are threatening. Still, the record is a party, a late night in a local dive bar where the house band and the clientele buy each other beers up until the final singalong. It may get hazy at points, but pop nuggets like "Here Comes Nothing" manage to break through with shimmering clarity and melodies that transcend their crusty origins. Hell, these guys even manage to throw in a tasteful sax solo! Cobra Verde aren't saving rock, but they're playing it like it still matters, and proving that all it takes is some sweat, booze and swagger to make a record whose every moment dares to become an anthem. --Peter D'Angelo

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