Review: Cobra Starship, ‘Hot Mess’

Cobra Starship, ‘Hot Mess’: Aidin Vaziri | Give the members of Cobra Starship credit for their brutal honesty: The second song on their latest album is called “Pete Wentz Is the Only Reason We’re Famous.” Not only did the Fall Out Boy star appear in their video for the minor hit “Bring It (Snakes on a Plane),” which played over the end credits of the Samuel L. Jackson movie nobody saw, but he also signed them to his label and dragged them out on tour with his own band, clinching Cobra Starship’s reputation with hormone-charged emo kids who don’t mind bouncing around to pool-party beats. The song is the indisputable high point from the group’s third album, thanks to its propulsive techno beats, raucous guitars and unrelenting cheerleader chants. “Smash it up!” urges front man Gabe Saporta, as he gleefully fires off just about every rock cliche known to man. But it’s the kind of sugar rush only the strong can survive. As the record barrels forward with a pile-up of cheesy synthesizers and mallet-size pop melodies on tracks such as “You’re Not In On the Joke” and “Wet Hot American Summer,” you’ll find yourself longing for the relative solemnity of Gwen Stefani. Its high-gloss vapidity is reaffirmed by the appearance of “Gossip Girl” actress Leighton Meester on the track “Good Girls Go Bad,” which was co-written by “American Idol” judge Kara DioGuardi. On the bright side, Perez Hilton’s Web site finally has a soundtrack.

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