VOX Magazine CBH Review 10/08/2006
The International Playboys
Cobra Blood Hangover

Annoyed that new-wave rock is in vogue, or squirm every time the latest rock media darling wears mascara? Then thank the rock gods for The International Playboys, a good old-fashioned rock ’n’ roll band who blow away the make-up with their loud, hard and in-your-face rock ’n’ roll. Pabst Blue Ribbon crowned them Montana’s 2006 Band of the Year, but The International Playboys are not resting on their laurels. Instead they return with their third LP, Cobra Blood Hangover.

Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, The Who and The Jimi Hendrix Experience would be proud of the International Playboys for playing rock the way they do. The drum beats pound your skull, the cymbals scar your eardrums, the guitar riffs shrill, and lyrics blare barely discernibly. They don’t necessarily imitate those legendary rock bands, but The International Playboys certainly follow the classic rockers’ ideas of what rock should be.

For a succinct — and raucous — autobiography of the band, listen to “The Ballad of the International Playboys,” which unashamedly proclaims that they play what they call “dirty sex rock,” and they play it loud and in your face.

“The Life and Times of Monty Carlo” introduces listeners to Monty Carlo, a singer so cocky that he calls himself a “world-class rock ’n’ roll frontman.”

Although it embraces chaos, the band takes a break from rocking out to play some country folk in “The Give a S***ter is Broken,” a ditty about losing the ability to care. With call and response in a southern twang and rollicking acoustic guitar strumming, the song doesn’t stick out among the hard-rocking licks.

All in all, Hangover is an album that’ll be a refreshing whiskey sour after prolonged frustration with the media saturation of parent-friendly rock. If you believe the only way to rock is hard, dirty, drunk and old-school, then check out The International Playboys.

— Eugene Phua