Posted on May 22, 2023 Leave a Comment
One of the most powerful, natural highs is discovering music that you instantly connect with. Everyone knows this. But how about an added exhilaration that takes it even further? I’m talking about when after the music hits, next you discover the visuals, attitude and overall aesthetic which just catapults everything into the stratosphere.
Cobra Man are a band currently supporting that rare feeling for me. The “Los Angeles Power Disco” outlet have been kicking around for a few years but are consistently getting stronger and arising to greatness and sweaty plateaus overlooking city skylines.
The band’s latest EP, “New Paradise” released last Friday is all the proof you need. Five tracks custom made for circling around the roller-rink with a Michelob and your sequence KISS satin jacket. These are songs to dance your ass off, bang your head, go after your dream girl or do doughnuts around the Target parking lot in your uncle’s ’86 Oldsmobile Cutlass.
OK, start cranking this shit to the high heavens.
Leading up to the release of “New Paradise”, the band have two full length albums and a string of singles which are without a doubt essential listening. However on the latest EP I feel the sound has crystallized by the heavy, slap-to-the-face production value. A thickness that these songs deserve. It feels grimy enough for a sweaty club with people swinging from chain-link fencing yet massive enough for an arena sized lightshow.
Cobra Man is the brainchild of Andy Harry and Sarah Rayne. I’m not going to pretend like I know the precise history of this project, but I know they’re tightknit with the Thrasher Magazine outfit Worble, providing the soundtrack to a series of skateboarding videos that are available on YouTube to watch. *highly recommended even if you don’t skate*.
The music combines so many different styles and old charm but make no mistake, Cobra Man are uniquely powering into new territory. This is the first exciting “new sound” I’ve heard in quite a while. From an influential standpoint I would guess they are tapping into disco-era KISS, elements of punk rock, Giorgio Moroder and Cheap Trick. However on a song like Bad Feeling I can’t put my finger on a single damn influence.
This was the first song of theirs that hooked its claws into me with those crusty riffs and hypnotizing vocals. Like that pile of white lightning in my Uncle Dean’s basement back in ’81, I was in for a doozy of a time.
I can’t wait to blast these songs when I’m circling around the roller-rink this weekend. Just me and my closest delinquents blowing off some steam before we hit the streets for one of those nights. You know, the usual. Satin jackets, switchblades, handful of grease, length of chain, spiked ball, wooden bat, 5th of Jack just to take the edge off and probably some frozen burritos. Party on.
Buy Cobra Man music/merch and see them on tour!
I MIGHT LIVE NEXT-DOOR TO R.L. STINE.
Posted on May 17, 2023 2 Comments
So I may or may not live on the same street as famed horror writer R.L. Stine, or at least that’s where my imagination goes every time I pass this gated home with decaying cartoon characters that roam the property. It feels straight out of a paperback that I would have picked up in elementary school at the Scholastic Book Fair, where rotting yard statues come to life when the clock strikes midnight to peek through your bedroom windows.
Amidst the rolling hills, large pine trees, long driveway and wrought iron gates of this beautiful home are dozens of animated TV show/movie character statues made of resin and wood.
When they first appeared in the early 1990’s, the statues were a vibrant, welcome addition to the neighborhood. Parents would walk their kids up to the yard and peek through the gates in awe at the entertaining display. It became a known attraction in this little town. I know because I grew up not far from the house.
“BE OUR GUEST”
Over the decades the statues have succumbed to the elements and this is what exists today. They haven’t been tended to or restored, rather left to die in the weeds! The rot and withering has made the property into somewhat of a fascinating display of decay.
Some characters are worse-off than others. Some are so decrepit that it adds a layer of eeriness and becomes unintentionally spooky.
Information about the property is a bit scarce but I’m hoping to personally solve all mysteries very soon. Allegedly the owner had the statues constructed for his wife 30+ years ago.
Last but not least, at the end of the 3 acre estate sits a little red cabin, smothered in vines with a sign hanging on the outside that says “welcome cabin”…
I fully expected R.L. Stine or one of those grumpy writers who holes themselves up in their house for a year and doesn’t talk to anyone to come stumbling down the driveway shaking their cane at me.
10 TO MIDNIGHT.
Posted on April 6, 2023 2 Comments
I’ve been really getting into Charles Bronson movies lately and it’s all thanks to Pops TNUC a.k.a. the artist formerly known as my dad.
Pops T absolutely WORSHIPS Charles Bronson, and many weekends you’ll find him watching the same Bronson movies over and over. His all time favorite is Hard Times but I think he enjoys just about any time Chucky B graces the silver screen. From classic American westerns like Once Upon A Time In The West to a 1983 sleaze-fest like 10 to Midnight, the man celebrates his entire catalogue.
If you haven’t seen this action-thriller juggernaut released by CANNON FILMS, please stop whatever it is that you’re doing and see it (pronto!). 10 to Midnight is the story of a psychopathic killer who stalks and murders women in the city and does so while being fully naked. Yes, without spoiling the fun, the killer commits his murders in the nude as to not leave any evidence at the crime scenes.
The salty-as-hell, tough-as-nails, slightly-burnt-out-but-smart-as-a-whip detective Leo Kessler is played perfectly by the stone-faced Bronson, who is hunting the killer with a little help from his rookie partner.
Beautiful girls, amazing one-liners from Bronson, sleazy shots of Los Angeles and a ripping soundtrack make 10 to Midnight a pure gem of the genre. Speaking of the genre, it always feels that for some reason thrillers like this don’t get the attention or nostalgic groundswell that other movies from the decade receive. In some cases, people seem to be falling over themselves digging up trashy 1980s horror (and not the fun kind) but there are a number of Charles Bronson movies I can rattle off right now that you never hear referenced.
Bronson is a treasure. Somewhat of an underrated action guru even though he’s been in a few of the biggest films of all time. What he “lacks” in karate-chopping, flipping and fancy-dancey bullshit he makes up for with his gun, his hair and that FACE of pure destruction.
Now onto the soundtrack. Composed by musician Robert O. Ragland, this hard-driving score features pulsating synths and guitar licks throughout. The clear highlight is “Look At Me”, the only track to include vocals as well as lyrics that reflect the killer’s narcissistic qualities. It’s a ripper of a song and would also fit nicely playing inside the Babylon Club in Scarface.
Look At Me (Vocals by Bruce Scott) download
Look At Me (instrumental) download
Buy ’10 TO MIDNIGHT’ Soundtrack Here
Posted on March 7, 2023 1 Comment
I can’t recall the last time I heard a new band that literally within the first 15 seconds of listening, they had me. That sort of immediate satisfaction is rare but it’s happened with the group Nuovo Testamento and their new album released on March 3rd, Lovelines.
Currently based in Los Angeles but featuring members hailing from the old country (Italy), the authenticity in their Italo Disco sound is remarkably apparent. It’s Italo Disco and 90s freestyle meets Depeche Mode with the sexiest vocals probably since E. G. Daily graced the soundtrack to 1987’s Summer School. Dive in.
All it took was that pulsating opening to ‘Heat’ and TNUC was already a disciple. The group are tapping into a sound that synth-pop desperately needed at the moment. It feels fresh and energized, with an attitude that echoes through the steamy streets of the city.
The following track and music video for ‘Heartbeats’ captures that energy so perfectly. Darkness of the city, golden hour skylines, trench coats and neon marquees. Singer Chelsea Crowley’s vocals also remind me a bit of German-pop icon Sandra, but completely unique and bewitching in her own right.
Uncle T can’t continue without at least once movie reference. So if I had to fantasize about a movie scene with this song, it would be Kim Richard’s bedroom in 1985’s Tuff Turf. She’s got the rock and pop posters adorning her walls, a fashion style that equally matches her attitude and most importantly, a bedroom window perfect for dudes climbing in or stumbling out.
The remainder of this album is just as great and never slows down. At a track length of just 8 songs, there is absolutely no time for interlude nonsense or filler on Lovelines. I can’t explain how refreshing this album is to hear amongst a sea of synth-pop material that for the most part is a bit forgotten about after a couple listens. It takes a new level of songwriting and authenticity to reach a plateau of greatness that stands above the rest and I can feel the power with Nuovo Testamento.