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Articles and Reviews

CMJ New Music Monthly
October '99
Cobra Verde

There's a little secret about Cobra Verde. It's really a pop band. Despite all its attempts to convince you otherwise through hard-rocking riffs and affinity for the seedier side of just about everything, this is pop music they're playing. Loud as hell and all about guitars. Cobra Verde cracks out dark, pounding rock music that builds its strengths more on hooks than most bands of similar "tough guy" posturing. Not that singer/songwriter John Petkovic is a tough guy per se, but he's got a pretty big bark. Couched in titles like "Don't Burden Me With Your Dreams" and "Heaven in the Gutter" are straight-up pop-rock songs laden with nearly impenetrable theatrics. And they work. "Crashing in a Plane" seems to borrow from the Buzzcocks' "Something's Gone Wont Again," while the rest of the album runs the heavy rock gamut with Petkovic himself sounding variously like Ian McCulloch, the Cult's Ian Astbury, and Jimmy from the Frogs. Diverse (there's a ballad! there's a piano) yet as heavy-hitting as Cobra Verde's pervious offerings. Nightlife is as inscrutable as it is loud, and in some ways it's a little confusing. Petkovic has more ideas than most anyone, and some of the fall by the wayside of, well, his other ideas, Even so, it's a worthwhile and intriguing, loud rock (and pop) fix for people that may be surprised that they like this band. - Liz Clayton

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