Monday, June 13, 2011

Sweet Cobra - Praise (2003)

Some of the fondest memories of my time in the Chicago Hardcore community was the incredibly diverse, sound-wise, the shows were of the early 2000's. A show you could go to and enjoy several different takes on the theme of aggressive music. In which, one could hear the sounds of a youth crew band, heavy hardcore, classic hardcore punk, and so on. These shows were thrilling to me, especially since it was a time in which I first started really exploring the early local community.

One band that always seemed to stick out to me was Sweet Cobra. I swear I have seen this band play more with youth crew hardcore bands than bands of their own ilk. These guys would get up there and pummel right through a set of blistering, sludgy hardcore. The best part was that they were so loud my ears always hurt in my foolish non-ear plug days of my youth. Seeing them play at the DePaul classrooms was always a treat, the context of the show, as well as the fact that the poorly constructed walls were always heavily reverberating due to the massive wall of sound the band carried with them.

Praise was one of my early introductions to hardcore that wasn't of the current flavor, or any of the classic bands of yore. A record that made a coalescence of sounds via bands like Black Flag, Born Against, and Neurosis. The intensity of the record was heightened when the band dabbled in mid-tempo songs, such as "River of Crimson", which was a cathartic moment of tension built up through the first half of the record. And songs like "Upon Torn Knees" rip right through you, fast and groovy, the band showing their excellence.

Unfortunately, the Chicago Hardcore community took a heavy hit when Mat Arluck, guitarist of Sweet Cobra among other bands, passed away in 2009. The band lives on, though it is hard to watch the band while knowing an integral part is missing, and missed. While the bands later albums haven't resonated as well as Praise, I will always value Sweet Cobra among one of the best local bands from Chicago.
  1. Upon Torn Knees
  2. Ruin
  3. Leviathan
  4. Content with the Tide
  5. Bandicoot
  6. River of Crimson
  7. Hatchet Wound
  8. Mother's Harvest
  9. Fear No Father
Rip Mat Arluck.


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