Hull newcomers 99% COBRA pack a venomous bite with their intriguing ‘party metal’ combination of big riffs and angry lyrics. Or, in their words: “Angry music disguised as Oasis.” But, if you were intrigued about what the other 1% comprises then, well, you’ll have to stay that way as the band flatly refuse to reveal it to us.
The trio of Robert Kirk (guitar and vocals), Harry Holness (guitar and bass) and Lewis Ross (drums) originally formed with the intent of writing seriously heavy music, and switched things up in order to make things more fun. As they explain: “We originally wrote music for a project that was heavily down-tuned and we felt like we were forcing ourselves to do it. So we changed things up and started writing songs that were just what we consider to be ‘party’ songs under the name 99% COBRA.”
And the move looks to be well judged, as they’ve honed a deliciously energetic, catchy, riff-fuelled sound packed with serpentine rage, wrapped up in some fairly bizarre song titles.
For example, most recent single Portable Chocolate Pouch opens up with an awesome repeating guitar blast then screamy vocals over wild high-pitched guitars and frantic bass drum and cymbals. A big-low-tuned guitar dive kicks in under big doomy cymbals, then high-pitched guitars see things slow down a little before diving into another breathless verse. On the track, they tell us to expect: “Big riffs, angry lyrics and the funniest video you’ve ever seen.” Check out said video below.
Previous track Attack of the Honey Badgers dives straight into a huge riff alongside brutal screamed vocals, then a cool section of more drawn-out guitars before launching back into fast-paced riffs under vocals that end on a cry of “Fill my eyes with death.” A more laid-back section of light flittering guitar notes follows, before another avalanche of wild riffs leads into big screams of “Hold me close, Let me know, Where I stand in this home, Bury me so you can see, The epitome of everything I’ve come to be,” then cool high-pitched guitars kick in under pounding drums. Check it out in the video below.
While debut single Leopard Print Party Princess opens up with a similarly cool darting riff, then palm-muted guitars give way to a brutal chorus. A couple of cries of “I could conceive death but I cannot conceive betrayal” are supported by seriously heavy drums before dropping into slightly slower guitars and rolling drums. Then a cool darting guitar line takes over under cries of “Trust me I know you’re a liar.”
On those angry lyrics, the band explain: “Lyrically, we write about whatever is angering us at the time. The subject can vary from toxic relationships to terrorist attacks.”
Inspired by the likes of Every Time I Die, Glassjaw and Counterparts, 99% COBRA have honed a sound that you can’t help but jig along to. It’s heavy yes, but it’s also strangely addictive and, having already played alongside the likes of Palm Reader, this is clearly a band to watch out for in 2019.
The band plan to release one more single before the end of the year, with an EP slated for early 2019. They also have a couple of gigs coming up in the next few months, first supporting fellow Hull mob Battalions at The Polar Bear in Hull on Saturday (2 December) then supporting Lotus Eater at The Key Club in Leeds on 19 February. More info on those is here.
And, as the band tell us, there’s plenty more to come: “2018 was only the start. We will be playing as many places as humanly possible in 2019 and you will have heard of us by the end of it. You cannot escape it, we are 99% COBRA.”