Tied and True
The world’s most original cover band, The Detroit Cobras have spent 11 years perfecting their signature blend of garage rock and old-fashioned soul. The M.O. hasn’t changed this time around: re-record great R&B obscurities using amped-up, fuzzed-out guitars in place of piano or brass, speed up the beat to a rollicking stomp, and crown the whole with Rachel Nagy’s sultry, lush pipes. The result is willfully modest rock-and-roll perfection — old-fashioned without being retro, gritty without being sloppy, fragrant with the greasy, scuzzy Essence de Motor City. Gino Washington’s “Puppet On A String” gets a spooky, reverb-heavy treatment, with a menacing male voice barking out commands (“Walk! Talk! Eat! Sleep!”); some nifty Byrds-sounding guitar embellishes the girl-group nugget “Only to Other People,” first recorded by The Cookies; and Dori Grayson’s “Try Love” showcases the gorgeous vulnerability underneath Nagy’s brass. None of these covers treads the same sonic ground as the original, but none feels like a novelty, either; you may never have thought of Leadbelly’s “On a Monday” as a raunchy, kitten-with-a-whip-cracking rockabilly rave-up, but it makes all kind of sense once you hear it.