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The Detroit Cobras - Baby


Review: Jack Foley

NORTHERN soul collides with Fifties-influenced rock 'n' roll for a genuinely feel-good third album from The Detroit Cobras, a fertile quintet who excel in delivering tracks of nostalgia-laced exuberance.

The Cobras have already served notice of what to expect with the recent release of Cha Cha Twist, which was employed by the Coca Cola Corporation of America to help sell it’s popular whisky and vodka mixer – Coke.

Needless to say, it'll accompany many a party venue this festive season, thanks to its riotous blend of groovy guitars and dance-floor driven energy.

So if you liked doing the Twist, then wait til you catch a load of Baby, for The Detroit Cobras have given birth to a foot-stomping monster.

From the funky opening moments of Slippin' Around, the album sets out its stall to deliver the goods in a mere 31 minutes and 40 seconds. And it's the usual blend of R&B, gospel, and '50s rock 'n' roll.

I Wanna Holler (But The Town's Too Small) features a blistering vocal display from lead singer, Rachel Nagy, with a driving bass from Joe Mazzola, and the kind of riff that seems destined for Quentin Tarantino's record collection. You'll probably want to holler along with it, too.

The Northern Soul routine kicks in with Weak Spot, which again showcases the vocal strengths of Nagy to quite sublime effect.

The PR states that DC have 'taken a collection of songs, customised them, chopped them down, chrome-plated them and given them an exquisite new paint job'. What's more, 'if the original owners turned up, they'd be thrilled'.

And it's difficult not to agree, for this is an album steeped in nostalgia that successfully puts a contemporary spin on things.

Yet, with tracks such as Hot Dog (Watch Me Eat), DC prove that they can write their own material when they feel like it - and write it well.

The track owes a lot in style to the melodies and rhythms of Cha Cha Twist, but retains the feel-good vibe in an almost effortless, frenetic manner, so that you can just imagine the live crowd going wild.

Other highlights include the sassy hip-shaker, Mean Man, which once more plays to Nagy's seductive vocal strengths, and the dreamy, moody ballad, It's Raining, which I doubt has ever sounded so good.

And the party vibe is rife within tracks such as The Real Thing, a real Sixties swinger, and, of course, that Cha Cha Twist, which rounds off the album in suitably funky fashion.

For the record, The Detroit Cobras are Rachel Nagy (vocals); Mary Restropo (guitar), Steve Nawarra (guitar), Joe Mazzola (bass) and Kenny Tundrick (drums). We thought it only fair to name all of them, given the out-and-out quality of the album.

Track listing:
1. Slippin' Around
2. I Wanna Holler (But The Town’s Too Small)
3. Baby Let Me Hold Your Hand
4. Weak Spot
5. Everybody’s Going Wild
6. Hot Dog (Watch Me Eat)
7. Mean Man
8. Now You’re Gone
9. It’s Raining
10. Just Can’t Please You
11. The Real Thing
12. Baby Help Me
13. Cha Cha Twist

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