Cobra Verde

Vintage Crime EP

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On Cobra Verde's second CD release, the six-song EP Vintage Crime, the group unleashes more of their trademark raw alterna-rock. But "raw" doesn't mean that the songs all have to be barnstorming rockers. Neil Young has written plenty of raw acoustic numbers, while both the Stones and the Stooges virtually wrote the book on pushing raw ballads to their limit ("Factory Girl," "Gimme Danger," etc.). The album kicks off with prime fat guitar riffing and hoarse vocals ("Catalogue"), but "World Doesn't End" entrances the listener with a surprisingly hypnotic chorus, as gentle wind-blowing sound effects complement the music perfectly. The lyrics of the unapologetically titled "Media Whore" warns the listener of tastemakers and hipsters, and cuts like a knife with its fundamental acoustic guitar and voice setup. "Wish I Was Here" sports growled, pissed-off vocals and a repetitive spy-movie riff, until a sweet pop chorus offers some comfort. The Guided By Voices-sounding track "Every God for Himself" follows, and shows why Cobra Verde eventually joined forces with GBV mastermind Robert Pollard in 1997. And with production straight out of the 1960s, the album closer "Fire of Love" sounds like a collaboration with legendary punkers X.

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