In Defense of... Cobra Starship and Sabi's "You Make Me Feel..."

When I think of the name Cobra Starship, I think about a neat G.I. Joe toy I saw at a garage sale when I was seven.

I was pretty disappointed when I heard that the band's name was a tie-in to their first single "Snakes On a Plane (Bring It)" for the movie of the same name. It tells me they weren't thinking too far ahead.

If I named a band "Talk to the Hand" or "I'm the Juggernaut, Bitch!", it wouldn't really hold up today. Somehow, though, this band has -- even with a library of corny pop-punk sounds and a bit of fratty, bantering humor.

And, ugh, as if that wasn't tacky enough, Cobra Starship even has a permanent keytar player. Good lord.

But the available snippets of Cobra Starship's upcoming album, Night Shades, suggest a change in direction -- more toward the electronic sounds saturating today's music charts.

Well, no one ever said these guys were innovative. That said, though, it's still a huge step up over the skateboard pop-punk they played before. Sure, it may sound derivative. But it can sound catchy as hell when done right.

EDM's a double-edged sword like that.

The new album's single "You Make Me Feel..." not only falls on the catchy side, but it also appeals to that canine area of the brain that responds to familiars sounds -- the same reflexive conditioning that called back the G.I Joe toy in my mind. The sound in question here is a consistent chord that evokes the 2009 Calvin Harris track, "I'm Not Alone."

Also, Robin Williams is in the new song's music video. How about that?

For all I know, this may just be another one of Cobra Starship's phases. But as long as they keep sounding like this -- and lay off the camp for a bit -- the band may have a few more years of catchy tunes in them.

Hope so, too. Kinda feels good.

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Shahryar Rizvi
Contact: Shahryar Rizvi