ARTIST: L.A Cobra
ALBUM NAME: ‘Shotgun Slinger’
RELEASE DATE: October 2017
COUNTRY: South Africa
CITY: Pretoria, ZA
GENRE: Hard rock/Glam Metal
Don Cobra (Vocals and Guitar)
Ewil Honey (Bass and Backing Vox)
Callie The Animal (Drums)
Slade (Lead Guitar and Backig Vox)
L.A Cobra? Who is L.A Cobra you might wonder? Well, without further ado let me introduce you to South Africa’s very own 80’s Glam Rock answer to the likes of Guns and Roses, Def Leppard and KISS! Having formed in Pretoria in 2005 this band has been taking names and shredding panties for an epic 12 years! L.A Cobra is focused on bringing sexy back with the revival of what was known as the hair metal era; Harley’s, big hair with way too much hair spray in it and nothing but good vibrations, bandanas and women with ripped shirts 2 sizes too small.
After being a diehard fan, and admittedly having a huge crush on Don Cobra (yes Don if you are reading this you read correctly) of this band from the age of 15 I naturally jumped at the opportunity to review the bands anticipated 3rd and latest album “Shotgun Slinger”. Much to my enthusiasm it was finally released this October after a 5 year long hiatus. It has been a long and depressing 5 years to be deprived of the bands signature sleaze rock sound. There is after all in my opinion nothing quite like them.
They sure came back swinging, having had the incredible and well deserved opportunity of having “Shotgun slinger” produced, mastered and mixed by Swedish rock star Martin Sweet of Crashdiet and booking a Scandavian tour to promote their new album in April 2018. There is also something to commend the band on with this album, being that is was entirely crowd funded from fans locally and abroad. It has thus not been an easy road for the band but proves that they have worked hard and smart to ensure the campaign yielded results so this album could happen.
Now… let’s dive into the album itself. Track 1” Running Wild” starts with a very mottled, tinny sound and you think to yourself “oh no Cobra is this it?” This all changes 15 seconds in when you happily hear the bands sexy sound, accompanied by Dons grungy vocals invade your senses. “Heeeeere we go” the chorus starts and it is here that every woman can picture herself motoring it on the highway on the back of one of the band members Harleys. Hair blowing everywhere, gripping tightly to his waist. Or if you are a male you will instantly picture yourself as the sexy leather clad biker, the object of every woman’s affection. And just as the song lyrics describe “We will claim the streets till morning light, we will own the world tonight” you will feel like you are running wild and are ready to take over the world leaving trails of smoke behind you as you go.
Now visibly amped I cannot wait for track 2 which is called “Sell your soul (little girl)” and seems to hit you right where it hurts. Addressing the topic of feeling as though you have sold out and speaking to everyone who may be feeling as the lyrics state that “the world is keeping you down, and you know you got to keep on going”. This song shows the band has a deeper side to their fun sound and yet keeps you engaged with foot tapping solos.
Track 4 is the albums name sake “Shotgun slinger” and I find myself instantly head banging. “Shotgun slinger with my heart in her hand… I don’t stand a chance, make me believe that there’s a glimmer of hope.” The song expresses something we can all relate to, wanting someone who is bad for us and is yet so irresistible. By the chorus I am singing along with the songs very catchy melody and reminiscing on all the times I have fallen for the “bad boy”. This one displays a great team effort and is a solid track all round. It presents a bit of different tone from the other songs so far.
Track 7 has an anthem feel to it with its epic Slash sounding guitar riffs and hard hitting drum beats from Callie the animal. A song to live by? or rather a cautionary tale on how “wrong things feel right” either way this song has you jumping up and down, air guitaring with Slade and wishing you were pressed up against the metal barrier at the front of a stage, rocking your leopard print socks off. The track is upbeat and energetic and the lyrics are extremely catchy, and I find myself singing along to it with ease.
“Midnight” Track 10 is my second favourite of this album and sounds like it could be the opening song to a 80s movie about the likes of a biker gang. The perfect jam for a breakfast run or road trip. The lyrics sound out “The gods of rock and roll are always here” and you can certainly feel the gods of rock n rock shining down on L.A Cobra when they reach the break down in this epic tune. I can hear my husband humming along in the next room, proof that you cannot help but tap your foot and bob your head to it. This song is left replaying in my head all day, a great indication of this bands lasting impression.
Track 11, the final and by far my favourite track on this album “Rock ‘N Roll Pretoria”. Let me start by saying, this song turned my husband into a wannabe Axel Rose, and had him grabbing my speaker, air guitaring and gyrating along to the song in his jocks and socks as if his life depended on it. This is THE song to have if you are visiting our country’s beloved capital city or wanting to get pumped for a Loftus Rugby game. The whole set up of this song is so cleverly done, down to the Afrikaans Rugby game commenting in the middle and ending it off with a fantastic ode to the classic Afrikaans song “My Sarie Marais.” What a pleasure to have a world class song from a local band about home, which just ignites our one of a kind local pride that you will find nowhere else in the world. “Rock ‘N Roll Pretoria” displays the bragging rights that L.A Cobra have earned with their sheer overall talent and timeless guitar solos.
In conclusion and to quote the band “this is what I’ve been waiting for” the torturous 5 year gap was well worth the wait for this legendary comeback album! On the whole this is right up my ally. To be honest there’s not a single song that I can say I did not like, they are all very listenable and super catchy. An American glam rock sound with a touch of local, the best of both worlds. This is an album you can drink Jim beam straight up to while having a braai. If you are going on a road trip it definitely needs to be on your playlist. Just watch that foot, you might be tempted to step on the gas!
Reviewed by: Jessie Berndt
Shots supplied by: L.A Cobra
Date: October 2017