The Detroit Cobras - Seven Easy Pieces

Over the 5 years since the Cobras released their first LP "Mint, Rat or Rabbit" the ever changing 4 piece have recorded and played more cover versions than the combined efforts of Popstars, Pop Idol and American Idol. The difference between the Cobras and the karaoke kids is that to paraphrase one of those lame comments from Simon Cowell - they really make each song their own and put a unique twist on a standard. This is the Cobras down to a tea and when they play their garage charged covers of rare rhythm & blues and soul records they're educating a whole new generation.

"Seven Easy Pieces" is the Cobras at their best and condensed to under 20 minutes it's the perfect going out record. Rachel Nagy and Mary Restrepo formed the band on the basis that if listening to the originals gave they such a rush then imagine the rush that playing them each night would give them. The fact is the Cobras don't need to write their own songs because everywhere they travel it's a constant journey of discovery and with new vaults and old classics being unearthed all the time they will never reach the situation where they tire of the same old records.

"Ya Ya Ya" reminds me of the opening credits of the art house film "Ghost World" where Enid is dancing around her room with wild abandon and totally out of step with anything that's happening in the modern world. Deep dirty R&B with the short of chorus that was made for the masses and appears both menacing and childlike in equal measures. "Secret Agent" and "Heartbeat" are driven by the rhythm section with the latter featuring the sort of energy not heard since Iggy Pop's "Lust For Life". "You Don't Knock" is a old skool call and response track while on "Silver and Gold" the Cobras take us on a downbeat path of heartbreak and despair.

The Detroit Cobras capture the essence and raw honesty of what the whole Detroit Scene is about. These are the foundations of which the whole scene was borne out of so why listen to some watered down rehashed garage blues when the Cobras deliver the originals with an energy not seen before.

Alex McCann

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