“Sunset in the Eye of the Hurricane”
There’s no easy explanation for the music of the Portland four-piece Cobra High. There’s no handy one-word description. Post punk, goth, industrial, new wave… none of them quite cut it. It’s got the darker industrial elements of Milemarker. It’s got the fat and catchy bass lines, a la Pretty Girls Make Graves. They go where the Faint couldn’t with some danceable electronic stuff. There’s some funky high hat play. There’s a definite 60’s / 70’s Garage rock feel too. At the beginning of the second track, “White Diamond” I heard parts that Aimee Mann could have penned. The album goes through all the motions as the instrumental sixth track, “El Fang Dorado,” acts as the urgent climax, while tracks seven and eight play out the denouement. The last track, “A Leaded Trace,” is an ethereal spacey piano song that is somewhat reminiscent of Suede’s “The Next Life”. With all the different stuff going on they still manage to keep it together. It all fits to form something incredible and all together original. They definitely didn’t have a problem avoiding a pigeonhole with their surprisingly well-formed debut record. It’s eight daring tracks, two of which are instrumental, all of which manage to escape easy description.