Album Reviews

Cobra Starship – While the City Sleeps We Rule The Streets

(Decaydance) UK release date: 2 April 2007


Is it just me or is anyone else sick of American groups throwing ‘ironic’ shapes while ‘dissing’ ‘the system’ with a catalogue of puns from a well-thumbed pop dictionary? I’m sure the world would be a better place without lengthy, ‘wise-cracking’ song titles that look like crap punchlines from junior school jokes. Look, you’re not the first people to have read a book so don’t get smartass when your musical talent is negligent bordering on vacuous.

Okay, rant over, it’s confession time. I admit it. I was taken in by the name. Call me facile. I should have known better. Shiny disco-baubles of glistening wordy promise hung over the concept of a ‘cobra starship’ like some crap but sleek sci-fi cop-out. Perhaps these were snake-hipped desperados fleeing their home planet in search of new galaxies to conquer? Or so their website would have you believe their work is to “teach hipsters not tot take themselves so seriously and to tell emo kids to stop being pussies.” Sensitivity? Cultured? Dumb-ass manufactured rawk? Hell yeah! Unfortunately.

This is a prime slice of nasty, identikit, disco-tinged pop-punk pap that will keep the ‘kids’ angry in ‘the mall’ as they struggle with the existential angst of whether Starbucks is more ‘edgy’ than Costas for coffee. It’s indicative of the label owned by Fall Out Boy and their ilk to offer up such droning clones of teenage ‘wangst’. The Kids Are All Fucked Up is a meek, bland, neutered piece of harmonic disco full of processed vocals that wince and drip with all the goodness of any faceless McDog music burger. Send My Love To The Dancefloor begs, borrows and steals the disco-punk of Blur‘s Girls and Boys with none of the charm, suss or bravado of the original.

Tracks conform to a monobrow approach of uptempo jittery faceless rock with big dumb choruses and a sprinkling of disco hi-hats or twinkling synths. Innovations ain’t gonna be featuring them in their catalogue. Single The Church of Hot Addiction is full of ‘spunky’ “Hey! Hey! Hey!” chants and claims that their “love is electric” which is a bonus because the songs aren’t even clockwork. The most lamentable thing about this album is the need to print the albums lyrics for your full poetic appraisal. Fear not! Shakespeare does not have any competition. Nor for that matter do The Cheeky Girls.

This is worst case scenario of music borstal inbreeding that’s created driving pop-rock, with a (hey! Ironic!) disco-tinged edge (because we’re into touch with our feminine side enough to persuade kohl-eyed girls to fancy us). Driving rock for music for people who can’t drive. Trite, smug and pointless. Destined to forever be the ‘alt-rock’ track on the next Hollywood bullock-buster soundtrack album, they even had the title song from the schlock-horror flick Snakes On A Plane. Classy.

Please people, don’t be like me. Read beyond the cover and consider carefully before purchasing. You could be responsible for these people’s careers. It’s nowhere near rock ‘n’ roll. Don’t get on the Starship. They are taking you nowhere you want to go.


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Cobra Starship – While the City Sleeps We Rule The Streets


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