EP Review: YEAR OF THE COBRA Burn Your Dead
If last year's Billy Anderson-produced debut LP …in the Shadows Below didn't hep you to Seattle's emergent Year of the Cobra, you've got one last chance to shore up your street cred with the band's newly released Burn Your Dead EP. Consisting of the bass/drums-only duo of Amy Tung and Jon Barrysmith, YotC peddle a compelling blend of upbeat, stoner-ish doom highlighted by Tung's unusually cheerful vocals, complemented by a bottom heavy rhythmic attack more interested in jamming to catchy, forward-driving melody than locking into a mosh-worthy groove. Invisible oranges are simply not this band's forte, which is fine considering the world doesn't exactly need yet another YOB clone.
Burn Your Dead is even more snappy than that debut LP, which sometimes seemed to split the difference between the group's (grudging?) doom inclinations and their innate need to simply rock out. Opening track "Cold" would seem to prove me wrong here, with its slow burning funeral crawl and Sabbath-like sustained notes, but Yung's vocals have a decidely non-metal feel to them, a kind of happily forlorn resignation-as-celebration that lifts this band above your boilerplate occult rock (or whatever) ensemble.
Yung's Chrissie Hynde-meets-Chelsea Wolfe singing dominate the tone of all five tracks here, bringing a world-weary effervescence to even the heaviest of the tracks here. The one notable exception would be the title track, a blistering barn burner that sounds like this Seattle duo has been listening to a lot of the Georgia-based groups and are determined to one up them at their own game. All in all, no wasted moments surrounding Burn Your Dead, except perhaps the time you're spending listening to anything else.