It’s pitch dark, and you’re contorted to fit in a tiny, cramped space. You feel a waft of humidity, and you hear the steady drip of liquid falling from above you. It’s only been a few minutes, or maybe an eternity has elapsed. Despair has all but consumed you when a flash of light blinds you and you’re thrust forward. You’re hurdling down a cliff face in a mine cart at a dangerous speed, sparks are flying, and the foot of the mountain is nowhere in site . . .
It’s time for some hard-hitting, in-your-face, no-holds-barred rock ‘n’ roll. Earth is the newest full-length from Chicago natives Sweet Cobra. This madcap trio of hard-hitting musicians have spent over a decade honing their distinct flavor of heavy rock; a little bit grunge, a taste of sludge, and a fair helping of New York hardcore. On this record, the group venture further and tinge their melodies with something surprising: pop.
Now when I say pop, I do not mean that these guys have lost their colossal, feedback-infused energy. Jason Gagovski’s drums are just as pummeling as ever, Robert Lanham Jr. shreds with an astonishing level of firepower, and it’s all held together by the deep, undulating bass of Botchy Vasquez, who also fronts the band. It’s the supple, soaring vocals of Vasquez that have received the most pop-infused upgrade.
There are some seriously catchy moments strewn across this meteor of a record, and that’s all thanks to the skilled level of restraint that this band possesses. Rather than battering the listener with crushing aggression, these artists have crafted song layouts with breathing room for the most melodic aspects to shine through. If you’re seeking sludgy, grungy post-hardcore with soaring melodies, this album is for you.
– stasi (@stasisphere)