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Articles and Reviews

Cobra Verde
Label: Motel Records
Genre: Rock, Pop
File Under: Straight-up indie rock
Rating: 87

Started as a lark from the ashes of infamous '80s indie rockers Death of Samantha, Cleveland's Cobra Verde has grown into one of the most captivating rock bands on the independent scene. Led by John Petkovic, who honed his songwriting chops with DoS, Cobra Verde draws from a vast spectrum of musical influence, ranging from David Bowie and T. Rex to the Cars and Ornette Coleman. Nightlife, the band's third full-length album, finds them more potently adventurous than ever on tracks like the slashing "Tourist," the noirish, atmospheric "Don't Let Me Love You," and the bluesy back porch ditty "Back to Venus." There's still a good supply of the band's bread-and-butter: muscular, Stones-inspired three- and four-chord rock like the gritty "Don't Burden Me With Dreams" and the throttling "One Step Away From Myself."

Petkovic, an arts columnist for Cleveland's daily Plain Dealer, has a smart, charmingly skewed view of the world and he uses that literate perspective to keep Cobra Verde arm's length from other, more naive indie rockers. In fact, the whole package here makes Nightlife one of the year's most gratifying and challenging straight-up rock experiences. - Bob Gulla

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