The King Cobra continues Olympia's rock reassembly program on this self-titled EP, courageously tackling stoner rock stumble and thickheaded, prog-thinking metal, stuffing them both into a burlap sack marked "indie." It's a stellar lineup, this Cobra. Ex-Kicking Giant and Need-er Rachel Carns handles vocals and standup drum kit; Olympia-area operator Betsy Kwo is on guitar; and Pacific Northwest newcomer, ex-everything genius practitioner Tara Jane O'Neil is playing the bass. The trio starts off "March of Pompeii'" with a dreary guitar sustain, but is soon wrapping rhythms and riffs around themselves in a backwards King Crimson game of tiger by the tail. At four-plus minutes, the track might overstay its welcome. But for advocates of Troubleman Unlimited's particular style, King Cobra's angular musical hopscotch will seem just right. "Fake Ex Swan Diver" is a bit more direct, giving Carns the opportunity to fit her clipped vocals into a '70s metal framework, and the band the chance to pulse as one sludgy unit during the enormous instrumental overtures. "Spook the Butcher" must be mentioned as well, with its shrill, slightly unsettling vocal harmonies and devolved indie metal strut. Johnny Loftus, Rovi
- Experimental Rock, Noise-Rock, Indie Rock
- January 20, 2004
- The King Cobra
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