- athenssoundcheck posted this
King/Cobb is a band where the guitarists can’t play, the singers can’t sing and the bassist can’t strum the bass line.
Their concert at Caledonia was also the most entertaining spectacle I’ve ever attended.
With lyrics more appropriate for a comedy club than a music venue, this haphazard quintet of good friends and would-be musicians made the crowd scream and howl for more.
Their music bordered on the harsh guitar and drums of punk crossed with the mellow vocals of indie rock. But that harsh guitar was offbeat, and those mellow vocals were off-key. Laughing at their own mistakes, King/Cobb invited audience members to dance and boo.
About two months ago, the male quintet told friends they were in a band. Talking about it worked for a while, until a friend offered them a concert spot in historic downtown Athens.
That posed a problem — the guys hadn’t written any songs. They barely knew how to play their instruments.
If nothing else, their show proved enthusiasm and performance skill can overcome a lack of … well … talent.
The opening band, Dylan Gilbert and the Over Easy Breakfast Club, had played to an almost empty house. Five minutes before King/Cobb set up, Caledonia was overflowing with excited onlookers. One girl said she took off work to be there. Two guys said they had raced to see them.
Amidst the giggles and cheers of the audience, the band took the stage. Four were in shorts and old T-shirts. Clad in jeans with a giant holes in uncomfortable areas, a fur coat, wire-rimmed glasses, PBR in hand and a crown more suited to a Burger King ad, the vocalist (Louis Arnold) looked like some odd combination of Athens hipster and prosperous pimp.
The first song was about pedophiles, the melody nothing more than a gentle tap on the drums. The second was being pretty.
Who knew singing “You’re a very pretty person, I’m a very pretty person, we’re very pretty people” over and over again could be so engaging?
King/Cobb knows their place. They aren’t talented musicians on the way to stardom. But like most boys, they want to be in a band — and they plan on having fun while it lasts. Considering the Athens music scene, that fun might last longer than expected.
Their joy was infectious — as was their confusion. When starting up a song, each band member would turn to the others with stares of blank confusion. Then, they would turn to the audience, shrug — and play.
The audience burst into howls of affectionate laughter before and after every song. It seemed most people on the floor were friends of the band.
At one point, they stopped the music and threw Krystal burgers off the stage for no reason. They concluded with a song about serial killers on trains.
The audience was almost childlike in its enjoyment of the show. At every song, men started jumping and shoving against each other, simulating mosh pits. There was a touch of ironic humor to the process. The guys of King/Cobb may not have been great musicians, but they were brave, funny and worth more than a glance of appreciation.
When the audience demanded an encore, King/Cobb granted it — only to retract it shortly after. “Um, actually, we can’t do an encore,” Arnold said. “That’s all we have.”
And the crowd reacted with angry shouts. They wanted more — no matter what “more” was.
King/Cobb may not belong at Madison Square Garden. But they should consider a career switch from music to comedy.
If there is such a thing as untalented genius, King/Cobb deserves that title.