Cobra//Group Cd Release Party

The Biggest “Band” In Town

Simon McCormack
3 min read
Founder Raven Chacon (from behind) presides over a Cobra//group practice.
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Waiting for local music that takes it to “the next level?” Albuquerque’s own Cobra//group may have what you’ve been after.

Members of the group (which is really more like a collective composed of artists from other local, more traditional bands) have described listening to Cobra//group as being similar to scanning through radio stations without stopping on one for more than a few seconds before racing to find more noise elsewhere on the dial. Cobra//group doesn’t adequately fit into any genre except perhaps noise-core, and the sounds produced are as unique as the backslashes in the band’s name.

“I’ve played in some other bands and the bottom line was the repetitiveness of practicing the same songs and playing basically the same shows with the same people loses its excitement after a while,” says one of Cobra//group’s conductors (that’s right, conductors) Jonathan Cram. “I found that there’s really no reason to stay motivated unless you’re trying to sign on to a major label. So rather than delude myself into thinking I’m going to be rich and famous, I might as well try something else.”

Cobra is something else all right. On any given night, you can see up to 12 people on stage playing violins, viola, trombones, saxophone, pedal steel, drums, guitars, upright bass, electronic feedback loops and using their voice to, as group member Jessica Billey says, “invent and then destroy a new hypothesis for the singularity of sound.”

Raven Chacon, who founded the group and is also a member of experimental band Alchemical Burn, says Cobra is “all about challenging each other and making sure no one ever feels too comfortable or too safe with what they’re doing.”

One of the group’s projects involved having each member individually watch a homemade claymation film and then improvise a musical piece inspired by what they were seeing. None of the members had any idea what their fellow bandmates had produced until Billey mixed all the pieces together to form a Cobra classic.

Atomic Cantina will host the official release of
Locas , the first full-length release by the Cobra//group, on Friday, Sept. 1. The band will be joined by special guests Me Infecto and Destructamatron.

To find out what all the noise is about, visit, where you can hear Cobra//group tunes and see an extensive list of bands the group has culled its members from.
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