track of the week ~ robocobra quartet ~ 'spring rounds'

Ian Curtis, Sylvia Plath, Kurt Cobain.

Each a tortured soul and troubled genius, beloved and adored by anyone but themselves. They're most abiding connection? Their art and world view was never truly appreciated, until long after their deaths. In Cobain's case, it can be argued that his poetry is still not fully embraced, as the nightclub throbs of remixed 'hits' will tell you. Ultimately the world was not ready for these remarkable individuals, their disenchantment with this planet and humanity's evils all to prevalent for those who would rather ignore it.

In Robocobra Quartet and their lyricist Chris Ryan, Northern Ireland may have found a modern equivalent to this long forgotten paradigm, and more importantly a voice to remind the nation that it's okay to criticise the status quo. Which brings us to 'Spring Rounds', the second track on the bands live recorded double a-side release. Utilizing the psychedelic orchestra that makes up 50% of the band, (Tom Tabori and Jamie MacKenzie on Soprano and Tenor Sax respectively)  frontman and drummer Ryan's new wave poetry is given the flamboyantly, doom laden backdrop necessary to hook the listener to every truth laden-fable.

"I should mention, that human nature is a bullshit conception, we have a long standing tradition of genocidal intentions"   

Tearing up the rule-book and re writing it within a song seems more of a moral duty, than convenient conclusion. Musically, Robocobra take their listener on a grandeur tour within the confines of abject mental instability. The artistry within their off kilter sax solo's only contribute to the menace, as the growing ripples of uncertainty continue to grow. Bassist Nathan Rodgers funk driven bass lines float amongst the madness, allowing the bands more classical contingent to lead the charge.

If one band are capable of making you question everything, then question it further, it's this one. Having said this, for every considered analysis of the lyrics at hand, their full political and social significance will never be fully understood by anyone other than their author. For this reason, it would make a  welcome addition to a University course as source material. Whether it would be an English or Psychology degree is hard to say.

There is so much more to Robcobra Quartet than meets the eye. Be it the quiet nods to Stephen Patrick Morrissey ("I take trains, there's no Vauxhall and I within") or their 'Meat Is Murder' admittance to the parts of life we'd rather simply not consider.

Addictive and pure, here we have the results of a humanity in quiet turmoil since convention began.

Taylor Johnson

"Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are now. Happily, some of them keep records of their troubles. You'll learn from them - if you want to. Just as someday if you have something to offer,someone will learn something from you. It's a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn't education, it's history. It's poetry." ~ JD Salinger.

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