Cobra Starship: For people who find Fall Out Boy too esoteric and inaccessible
Hi, I’m Meathead, the most trusted journalist in America. If you’re anything like me, and may the Lord help you if you are, you have August 11, 2009 circled in bright red about 80 times on your calendar. It’s going to be such an amazing day. In fact, I already have it all planned out. I’m going to get up bright and early, scarf down a huge bowl of Fruity Pebbles, squeeze into my really tight girl jeans, throw on my favorite ironic t-shirt, style my hair in an especially wacky, non-conformist way (probably just comb it over one eye, that usually works), and skateboard down to Amoeba so I can be first in line to buy the new Cobra Starship CD! F**k yeah!
Oh wait, that’s not me. Sorry, I got myself confused with someone who actually gets excited about these shitty, cookie cutter Warped Tour bands that seem to be multiplying exponentially every year. I don’t know who decided that “pop punk” is a legitimate genre of music rather than a blatantly obvious oxymoron, but if there’s a God then right now he’s writhing in the eternal flames of hell along with their entire extended family. Of course, we all know there isn’t a God, and said dickwad is most likely getting a hummer in a hot tub in Malibu as we speak. Pop punk. If memory serves me right, back in olden times “punk” used to be a means of rejecting the status quo and expressing discontent with popular culture. And, well, “pop” is short for “popular.” So “pop punk” essentially means “popularly rejecting what’s popular.” Well, that’s what it would have meant, before the meaning of punk changed to “wearing a bunch of shit I bought at Hot Topic.” Wow, what a great time to be alive. Suck it, Abraham Lincoln.
One of these popularly rejecting what’s popular bands that’s tragically gaining in popularity as of late is Cobra Starship. Who the hell is Cobra Starship? Glad you asked! If you saw the movie Snakes on a Plane for some reason (ironically, of course), and you bothered to stick around for the end credits for some even more inexplicable reason, and you actually remember the song that was playing during those credits, well, that was Cobra Starship’s hit song, “Snakes on a Plane (Bring It),” from their groundbreaking debut album, While the City Sleeps, We Rule the Streets. I know, right? What a lucky coincidence that they just happened to have a song called that, just in time for the release of the movie with the same name (minus the “bring it” part)! I mean, what are the odds? It’s almost as if… well, no, it would be awfully cynical of me to imply that it was all contrived in some way, so I won’t do that. These guys are obviously destined for success! Just look at them! Those are famous people pants right there.
One of the worst things about 2008, if you can remember back that far, was the omnipresence of the National Skank Anthem, “I Kissed A Girl” by Katy Perry. I’m pretty sure the single came with a coupon for 50% off any tribal design at Sleazy Pete’s Tramp Stamp Emporium. Well, apparently Cobra Starship thought it would be “hella” funny to record and release their own mind-boggingly clever version, titled “I Kissed A Boy,” a mere three months later. You know, so instead of it being about a girl kissing another girl, it’s about a dude who wishes he was a girl kissing another dude. Yeah. (Warning: Watching the following video will make you gay. If you’re already gay, it will make you REALLY gay.)
If you look very carefully, you can even see Pete Wentz hiding in there. Assuming you haven’t smashed your computer with a sledgehammer by this point, you must be thinking, “Wow, Meathead! That’s so awesome how they switched the gender in the song like that! I’m very easily impressed! Now I just wish they’d repeat the exact same schtick with another abysmally horrible song!”
Ah yes, let us all take a moment to reflect upon “Hollaback Girl,” the 2006 song that single-handedly made me think that maybe domestic violence isn’t always such a bad idea (Hey Gavin Rossdale, call me when you get a minute). But Cobra Starship really proved some point or another by recording their own equally bad version of it. See, instead of saying “I ain’t no hollaback GIRL,” they say “I ain’t no hollaback BOY.” Get it? Scathing social commentary if I’ve ever heard it.
2007 brought us their sophomore effort, ¡Viva La Cobra!. For those of you who don’t know Spanish, that translates roughly to “It Sure Feels Good When We Rub Our Weiners Together.” There’s actually a hilarious story behind the title, according to closeted lead singer Gabe Saporta:
We all LOVED the title If the World Is Ending, We’re Throwing the Party (it’s actually a line from what I think will be [the first song we put out [“Guilty Pleasure”]). But everyone was having a hard time remembering it (they were like, “what is it again? If the world is gonna end, then we’re gonn….?? etc. ) And we were on tour in Europe with like 3 days left to decide on a title. We had an overnight flight from Singapore with Gym Class Heroes and The Academy Is… where we didn’t sleep and were deliriously coming up with a whole bunch of titles (some of the top runners: Shred Savage, Cobra Lingus, Sass Attack, Holiday in Cambrodia, Bromeo and Juliet, you get the idea..) Then we get to Paris for Decaydance Fest and me, Pete, and Patrick are backstage struggling and brain-storming to try to find something that can work. And in pops Travis distracting everyone and talking a million miles a minute about some shit about Lil Wayne rapping with GCH and putting in “Viva La White Girl” at the front of “Clothes Off.” And I was like, “oh shit! How about Viva La Cobra!?” Travis gave me this “come-on-are-you-serious?” look. But everyone loved it. And since we’re like family, he had to let me do it so it’s all good. But Travis said I gotta pay him 75 bucks.
Personally, if my hypothetical band got the inspiration for an album title from Lil Wayne, that’s not something I’d admit to in public. Then again, I wouldn’t write a song called “Pete Wentz is the Only Reason We’re Famous,” either. But hey, that’s just me! Who am I to judge?
As I mentioned earlier, the Starship’s latest masterpiece, Hot Mess (guess they dropped the “All Over Gabe Saporta’s Face” part), drops on August 11. The first single, “Good Girls Go Bad (featuring Leighton Meester) is already whetting the appetites of total fucking idiots everywhere. Because nothing says “punk rock” like Leighton Meester, of Gossip Girl fame. What, was Brooke Hogan unavailable? Bummer. Oh well, there’s always next time. Here’s the OFFICIAL music video (to ease the suspense, yes, there is autotuning):
Jefferson Starship must be psyched right now to know that there’s another “Starship” band out there that sucks even more than they do. I bet that’s a big load off their shoulders.