One of the gutsiest moves a band can make when it comes to recording, getting up on-stage, and simply existing is attacking with the very basest of personnel and instrumentation. We’ve seen an uptick in varying styles of duos in rock music but it’s still seen as taking a chance. That only two people might be up there to entertain/pummel the masses still comes as something of a surprise to most audiences. More shocking is when a duo can absolutely kill it. That a band would attempt a massive sound with something akin to a form made up of equal parts sludge, stoner, doom, and groove the possibility for greatness is pretty high. The opportunity for the experiment to fall flat is even higher.
However, since Year of the Cobra’s 2015 inception, Amy and Jon Barrysmith have proven that you don’t need a huge band to create a huge sound. Producing massive, infectious heavy riffage and a sound mightier than a duo should rightfully lay claim to this pairing pummel audiences the world over. You’d be forgiven for drawing the easy straight-line comparison to Jucifer considering the similar pieces parts but you’d be doing yourself a woeful injustice to both bands.
Where the latter create dense, noisey soundscapes with lilting vocals hanging like a haunting over their proceedings, the former deliver a more straight-forward bass and drums driven sludge enhanced by vocals that summon the darker, bizarro version of Nancy Wilson. That Year of the Cobra spend most of their time in the lower gears in terms of tempo doesn’t mean they can’t crank up the speed a hair and arrive at some nice driving stoner rock. Their work is also shot through with nice nods towards classic rock heroes without falling off the edge into worship. Without a doubt the band create their own complex depth of sound that’s well worth checking out.
For those who missed the debut of their album, …In The Shadows Below, you’re getting a brand new go at it with the upcoming second run of vinyl for the LP. And speaking of debuts, premieres, and lots of loud noises we have the premiere of the band’s video for “Temple of Apollo”. Featuring a ton of groove, a bass sound ripped straight from the best of Kyuss, and vocals that are reminiscent of Brody Dalle channeled through the swagger of Joan Jett… well, you get the idea.
The band will begin working on a new EP via Magnetic Eye later this year and are embarking on some short touring this summer which will culminate with an appearance at Psycho Las Vegas in August.
The new edition of their album on vinyl is available here.