Review: Cobra Starship – Hot Mess

hotmessArtist: Cobra Starship
Album: Hot Mess
Genre: Pop/Dance Rock
Label: Decaydance/Fueled By Ramen

I want to be honest from the start, I, like many 20 something pop punk kids, wish nightly for Gabe Saporta to make one more Midtown record. Not that I haven’t found aspects of Cobra Starship to love, heck, I’ve bought their last two releases, but I simply dislike how simplistic and niche the writing of Mr. Saporta has become. That said, the group’s latest release, Hot Mess, is by far the best album Cobra Starship has made.

Starting off in rock territory, “Nice Guys Finish Last,” very obviously rips the vocal and music melody from “Womanizer” for the verses, but finds some salvation in a catchy, unique chorus. However, the similarities to Ms. Spears are quickly forgotten with the one-two punch of “Pete Wentz…” and the mega hit “Good Girls Go Bad,” which, try as I might, I cannot get out of my head. It’s not the most difficult music by far, but it’s quite, quite catchy.

As soon the single ended I began to wonder if the previous patterns of Cobra Starship, aka, loading the best tracks up front and then having a lackluster back 3/4 was going to continue, but I was wrong. While “Fold Your Hands Child” did little, but kill time on the record, the title track, which also stands as the album’s halfway point, is without a doubt the best track this group has created. “Hot Mess” has the funk and dance tones Cobra fans desire with the group’s signature quirky lyrics, but it’s the driving force of the chorus and crunching guitar that let’s us know Mr. Saporta hasn’t lost his songwriting mind as much as some may think. It’s a perfectly executed pop song and should definitely be the next radio single.

“Wet Hot American Summer” continues the positive dance vibes well into the last chunk of the record. The group seems to reference 80’s synth work more than normal here, but it pays off quite well. Then, to counter all the upbeat rhythms and tones, “The Scene Is Dead; Long Live The Scene” let’s the dancers relax and just groove along for a few minutes. This is the kind of song us mixtape fans dream of for our Summer road trips because the beat just puts a smile on your face without seeming demanding of anything more than driving under stars with the windows down.

As soon as the near perfect “The World Will Never Do” comes to a close, it goes without saying that Cobra Starship have officially outdone themselves. Hot Mess is the album we all thought they could make, but have yet to receive until now. It’s wonderfully overproduced dance pop packaged perfectly for their target market. It’s not revolutionary and it will most likely have little impact on your life outside of inducing public acts of white guy dancing, but it is exactly what it needs to be: fun. Fans everywhere will surely be throwing up the fang sign for a long time to come as it seems Cobra Starship has just started to hit their stride because, as I said before, this is hands down the best Cobra Starship album to date.

Score: 8/10
*Written by: James Shotwell*

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

Latest posts by James Shotwell (see all)

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
  • ford.

    Ok, Underthegunreview.net, who obviously have some idea of which end is up, seeing as they love Nemes, clearly weren’t listening to the same album is was, and if they were, they had different copies of CS’s first 2 albums.
    With gabes recently shot voice, he could be renamed the king of autotune on this album, and the best lyrical and melodic hooks of this album barely exceed the weakest tracks from their first albums.
    Of course the music for the most part is up to par, fair guitar parts, cute catchy keyboard riffs, with a driving bass and drums that keep the songs together, if nothing else do.
    But honestly, calling the World Will Never Do, “Nearly Perfect”? Any kid who understands the most basic of synth rythyms and has garage band on their little mac book, and a buddy who can rap could create something just a good. Or bad. You be the judge.
    Now don’t spaz out at me fan girls, just a seasoned FBR lover expressing his opinion. (I mean, Cobra is now on the same lable as the fucking MILLIONARES. COME ON.)
    Peace.