The Detroit Cobras are f**kin’ cool, plain and simple. What makes them so cool? They are the embodiment of retro garage rock and soul. They hark back to the days when the rift between rock and soul wasn’t necessarily an impossible leap; an era that we seem to be longing for again these days, as we’re seeing a greater presence of retro soul singers (i.e. Duffy, Winehouse) and simple garage rock bands (Jet, Black Lips) in popular music.
But the Detroit Cobras are no bandwagon scene-jumpers. They’ve been around rocking small clubs since 1994, never changing their style and letting style come to them whenever it catches up. What is it about Detroit that makes it such a breeding ground for top-notch garage rock? Iggy Pop, the MC5, Bob Seger System, Ted Nugent, Alice Cooper, etc. etc. If you don’t know the history…learn it!
The Detroit Cobras’ mainstay members are singer Rachel Nagy and guitarist Maribel Ramirez (Restrepo) and they’ve recorded four full-length albums, chock full of killer garage rock and soul covers. Their newest release, The Original Recordings, Singles and Unreleased 1995-97, is pretty self-explanatory but please allow me to elaborate.
This is archive material from the early days of the Detroit Cobras, before the release of their first album in 1998. The beauty of this stuff is that it is classic Cobras-style with lo-fi production, perfect for the Cobras’ sound, performing in badass fashion, songs by Ray Davies, the Mysterians, and The Supremes, to name a few. And this is party music. You can’t go wrong firing this album up at your next gathering.
The Original Recordings was just released on Munster Records (and Cobraside) on June 24 and is available in CD, LP (two records), and 7-inch boxset formats. Shop around and you may find a bargain. I just searched and found an amazing price for the vinyl at this site known as Aural Exploits. They also have the 7” boxset version, which would be super-cool if you’re a huge Cobras fan and vinyl-lover, but much pricier.