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Album Review
Cobra Khan EP

Cobra Khan EP
by Cobra Khan

1157 Records

Review Date
19th December 2012
Reviewed by
Ricardo Kerr

New Zealand is chock full of rock, metal, punk, and hardcore acts – you can see them any given Friday night at your local watering hole - but very few garnered the crowd response that Cobra Khan did. It is an intangible quality that kept the punters coming back time and time again; something that could not be rationalized or quantified. Their self-titled EP, announced to be their final album, attempts to catch that lightning in a bottle one last time.

With less than 15 minutes of run time, there is no time to waste and waste it they do not. As we have come to expect from these wily rebels, the EP opens with a mighty combo of hard-hitters. 'Cages' is a powder keg of bristling aggression and bludgeoning down-tuned riffs all wrapped up in less than three minutes. It is sharp, vicious, and economical to a fault. The neck snapping breakdown alone shows off the band's undeniable caliber and reminds us of the void they will leave behind them. 'Walking Wires' follows on a lighter note, if you can call it that. Not light as if to dare say that it wasn't heavy, but the whole song is strangely uplifting.

Are you comfortable? Ready for more hard-hitting guitars and metallic oeuvres? Too bad. 'Ashvin' makes no bones about breaking the mold as it transports us back to the heady days of 80s industrial music – eerie synths, triggered drum sounds and all. It is a dead ringer for early Ministry, Killing Joke, or even Pretty Hate Machine era Nine Inch Nails. It might be late in the game but Cobra Khan are still capable of throwing some crazy curve balls at you. The EP is closed out with 'In Frays'. This songs carries on the 80s motif of 'Ashvin', dragging it kicking and screaming into classic goth territory. Milon Williams lightens his vocals to match the hooky guitar riffs and the unabashed throwback swing of the the track. Have they been on a steady diet of Depeche Mode, or is this the kind of song they could only have released when they had one foot out the door? These are the questions that must be asked as the band close out of record for the very last time.

In this EP we have two sets of two songs; the first are the saw-toothed hardcore that they made their name with, and the second of bizarre (but genuinely good) 80s pastiches. With their final recording Cobra Khan have decided that rather than closure, they want to agitated their fans with a taste of what could have, but will never, be.


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