Cobolt – Split 7″

Cobolt
Split 7"

Well dammit if Chalksounds hasn’t done it again. This Swedish label has shown me again and again that overseas rock bands don’t sound like cheap imitations of bands on this side of the ocean. Here we have two Swedish post-hardcore bands that just blow me away from the beginning. Powerful, emphatic, intense rock that doesn’t fit into any of the genres I’ve been hearing from American bands lately, and that goes a long way in my book.
Cobolt’s “Dinosaur Muscle” takes up all of the A-side. A very thick, textured song, this track takes on a life of its own after the first several minutes. Each instrument is layered and yet immediately distinguishable, saying a lot about the quality of this recording. The drums and strong and complex, the guitars layered and melodic, the bass thick, and the vocals very strong and just slightly breaking at all the right points. I can’t even begin to guess how you would classify this song. Loud and powerful while never moving too quickly or out of control. Suffice it to say, this band is fresh and intense while playing things at their pace, mid-tempo and yet strong and emphatic. Somewhere between the moodiness of emo and the intensity of hardcore lies this intense and impeccable song.
Kevlar have two songs on the B-side, and I’ve heard other material from this band. Their style of post-hardcore rock reminds me quite a bit of Fugazi meets Jawbox meets Fireside, and that’s a pretty cool combination. “Construction Work” fits that definition perfectly, full of driving guitars, complex rhythms, and vocals that are loud without being shouted. It has its little melodic breakdowns, too. But really, this is a rock song, the kind that makes you sway your head and play a little air guitar. “Room For Second Thought” is their better song, with some fantastic drumming, really all over the place but always in control. This song is fantastic, and while it’s not quite as powerful as the first track, it’s all the more tight and precise. This one feels a bit more emo, perhaps, but that’s probably a silly label. Even if the song does have an emotional intensity to it, it doesn’t sound like the tried and true emo sound you’re used to hearing and likely sick of. No, this is cool, unique rock with great drumming and fantastic guitars.
Well Kevlar again impresses me with their style of powerful yet thickly melodic guitar-driven rock, it’s Cobolt that carries this release. Their song is downright amazing, powerful without ever resorting to quiet and loud moments, just sticking with one pace, one sound, and exploring it all the way to the end. Both of these bands are great, no doubt about it, and if you doubt how good a Swedish band can be, look no further than this split release. Cuz I can’t imagine it gets much better than this.