COBRAKILL are a relatively new band, having only released a three-track demo back in 2020. […]
By Chris Hicklin
April 18, 2022
Cobrakill - Cobrator album cover

COBRAKILL are a relatively new band, having only released a three-track demo back in 2020. That release may not be a particularly accurate guide to the current state of the outfit however, as it is all-change with this, their debut LP release, having assembled an entirely new line-up except for band mainstay and founder, guitarist Randy White. One does not need to examine the epic cover to this album for very long to get a good idea of what the band are all about, as it immediately conjures the magnificent cheese of the 80s, looking very much like a video cover to a movie like Big Trouble in Little China or a platform SEGA game. It's clear this is going to be a slice of Melodic Hard Rock, the only question being, is it any good?

First up is "Silver Fist" which immediately sets the scene. Do you like MOTLEY CRUE? Let's hope so, because if you don't then you won't like this. With an epic scream vocalist Nick Adams introduces himself, the guitar riffs are Hard Rock but have a Metal edge with the mid-scooped tones and sleazy solos, this becomes more apparent with "Deathstalker" which strays further into Trad Metal territory while Adams stretches his vocals to the limit with a powerful delivery similar to Seb Bach, a bit of gravel and rasp, a bit of nasality, but an impressive ability to hit ear piercing high notes with it.

Title track "Cobrator" had a bit more of a considered start with a nice thumping rhythm section introduction getting the foot stomping, while the guitars spray riffs like bullets. It's heavy and it is energetic, and this carries through to "Desperados", the fastest, heaviest track on the LP which spits out its spectacular punk-tinged riff like MOTORHEAD on speed. So basically, like MOTORHEAD.

So far, this album has proven to be a fair bit heavier than expected, all the cheesy trappings of 80s Glam and Hair Metal are there but bolstered by the cutting blade of Metal. With "Electrifier" and "Bring It, Sugar" they show they can achieve an arena filling Hard Rock sound too, full of huge choruses which require you to pump the fist and shout along but not think too hard about it. "Lavender Haze Gypsy" has me thinking of "Slave to the Grind" era SKID ROW, as the crunchingly heavy riffs are punctuated by jangling clean guitar-driven verses and high-pitched vocal delivery. "We've Just Begun" is a perfectly competent and endearing ballad but seems like a slightly toothless way to go out considering the relentless energy of the LP as a whole. This song would have been better splitting the album down the middle in my opinion.

The production is serviceable, but there's nothing offensively wrong with it, in fact it captures the sound of the time a little better by not being too perfect, it has a little of the Kevin Shirley Tupperware box sound. The guitar tones are very authentic sounding, and the solos are excellently performed and as frivolous as one might expect from a band recreating the kitsch sounds of the 80s. I think the band need to generate more of a signature sound for themselves though as this album is pure pastiche, it is top quality entertainment and a whole lot of fun, but they could dig a little deeper.

7 / 10









"Cobrator" Track-listing:

1. Silver Fist
2. Deathstalker
3. Cobrator
4. Desperados
5. Electrifier
6. Bring It, Sugar
7. Lavender Haze Gypsy
8. We've Just Begun

Cobrakill Lineup:

Nick Adams - vocals
Randy White - lead guitar
Tommy Gun - rhythm guitar
Crippler Ramirez - bass
Toby Ventura - drums

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