The soulful Detroit Cobras champion rock and roll that predates Johnny B. Goode. Mostly obscure covers, they play what you'd have heard on "race" stations catering to northern inner city and southern rural blacks from pioneer DJs Hunter Hancock or Jocko Henderson (later capitalized upon by whites like Alan Freed). Rock and roll only in retrospect; in its time this was still called rhythm and blues. The Cobras aren't cheeseball revivalist hipsters but adore music that inspired the well-known "originators," music that makes even the best of Chuck Berry look like docile bubblegum.
Musicians generally have wider-ranging tastes than music fans (most of whom are actually genre fans). If the disparate musicians who attend Shine Cherries shows are any indication, this band is a fast-ascending local favorite, a showcase of tender twang. Like Mazzy Star covering the Velvet Underground on a twilight front porch in the smoky hills of North Carolina, the Cherries' sound—exemplified by exquisite vocalist and glowing songwriter Michelle Collins—is not so much soft and gentle that you must be quiet to listen, but that you want to be quiet to listen.
First hearing this Las Cruces trio, I was instantly reminded of three old Burque favorites from over half a decade ago: the grind of metalcore masters Word Salad, the Ritalin-powered punk delight of Scared of Chaka and the straight-up rock punk of the little known Surlies. The Answer Lies are at their best live, but this album accurately captures the eye-popping, bloody knuckles excitement of their shows. It zips by like a speeding car that's passed so close it blows your hair in disarray: 11 songs in just over 13 minutes, recorded as if there wasn't a second to waste.