Remember when bands didn’t wring their hands wondering how to get signed? Or when bands felt content to thrive in their hometown’s underground instead of trying to land an opening slot on some dumb package tour? Remember when bands networked by going to shows and supporting that killer no-name act that was travelling through town on a Monday night instead of sitting in front of a computer and spamming your social media? Remember when bands didn’t need some elaborate backstory and bullshit concept to grab your attention? You might think that’s a bygone era, but there are bands out there that still operate on that level, and it’s not out of naiveté or nostalgia.
For over ten years, Sweet Cobra have been a cornerstone in Chicago’s heavy music scene. And for that decade, they’ve mercilessly pounded on their pawnshop gear around the Midwest, working with an earnest determination based not on some faulty notion of “making it”, but with the goal of being the tightest, gnarliest, catchiest punk band possible. But without the PR machinations that propelled Pissed Jeans into the comfortable mid-level touring circuit or the neighborhood proximity to cultural rainmakers that got scuzz punks The Men their surge of initial press coverage, Sweet Cobra have mainly been the Windy City’s best kept secret. But that’s subject to change with the July 24 release of their excellent fourth album, Earth, via Magic Bullet Records.
Their video for lead single “Future Ghosts” finds the Chicago trio deviating from their earlier permutations of d-beat, sludge metal, and hardcore. As if tipping their hat to the city that’s nurtured them, the song takes on elements of other staunchly uncompromising Chicagoans—the sardonic middle-finger of Jesus Lizard, the bottomfeeder throb of early Pelican, the call-to-arms drive of Naked Raygun.
Check out the video below. Or don’t. Fuck it, Sweet Cobra soldiers on whether or not your lame ass gets it. But if you do, get their record right here.