Music to Run From: Berlin’s Cobra Killer

It’s a bit like coming back to your senses in a Russ Meyer movie. I suppose. Annika Line Trost and Gina V. D’Orio are very, well, let’s seeâÂ?¦ dominant – if you know what I’m saying. They may claim to “celebrate music” but one look at their audience makes it clear to you that this particular celebration has gotten way out of hand. And it’s less like a party for these die-hard fans. It’s much more like an addiction.

And the only other nice thing I can say about these fans is that they don’t appear to be armed.

Cobra Killer’s music (two girls and a sampler – “We’re a band!”) is what I would call a mix out of very loud hardcore electro beat art party and postmodernist garage garbage-Klang surf guitar mutant disco go-go girl cheese with cheapo 60’s organ and an occasional intentional technical difficulty or two.

Is mix the right word to use here?

Cobra Killer likes to call their secret sound formula “Dreck-Elektro” (filth electro). And filthy it is. In other words: These “grrrls” rock. And they just love to throw their music at you – and themselves too, while they’re at it. And throw it they will, at anybody foolhardy enough to come within ten feet of the stage, that is.

But I wouldn’t recommend it. You know when a Cobra Killer has lurched at you. The torn stockings and the latex and the flashing hairpins produce such an indescribable adrenal rush that a limbic existential fight-or-flee reaction immediately kicks in and you end up sleepless for days. I suppose.

The Cobra Killer girls love to swoon and collapse in their lovely party-girl dresses. They hoola-hoop and wear kinky gloves and flaunt their legendary bloody knees. They have trouble with their ill-fitting high heels and fall down a lot (they often stay down, too). They swing around on the lighting equipment and, as I said, are very accomplished stage divers. They like furs and leather and are sexy and ugly at the same time and continually pour red wine all over themselves.

And they drink a bit of it from time to time, as well.

At any rate, all of this makes these sweaty and sticky and naughty girls extremely popular with the armies of fans who demand to see them here. Their Ã?¼ber-theatrical live shows and sheer confrontational bad attitude are hard not to notice – and respect – in the Berliner scene.

They have declared war upon anyone and anything that might even in the slightest way be considered to be mainstream in the music business. They have declared war on anything that appears to be “calculated excess” – they much prefer the real thing, you see. Who are they going to declare war on next?

And the Berlin subculture is more than supportive in all of this. But it’s not just appreciated here, it seems. They have large followings in Australia and Japan, their cult being firmly established in these countries, I am told. It looks like their out-of-hand celebration is now beginning to infect other parts of the globe.

Berlin’s “deadly darlings” latest recording (or one of them) is called Let’s have a Problem. Sure, some claim that it’s one of the best party records ever made and all that stuff, but hey, let’s keep it in context. Listening to them like that, you know, in the privacy of your own home when you are a safe distance away from them and all, well, it’s just not the same thing. It’s just not fair. No risk no fun. The edge is gone.

But it’s never gone for very long. You can “see” them again. You can if you want to. You have to see them again, don’t you? And see them you will. In Berlin you will. They live here, you see. They keep coming back.

Just like those flashbacks from the Russ Meyer movies I get.

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