SINGLE REVIEW: Artio – ‘Queen Cobra’


Over the last few releases Artio have been making music that is increasingly rock based. To the point where they’ve progressed from being a synth-pop band with rock leanings to being an out and out synth playing alt-rock band. Although given their tendency to break the boundaries of genre – and this is of course, a good thing – and surprise the hell out of us, there’s no telling where they’ll go next. With Artio, expect the unexpected.

‘Queen Cobra’ is one fierce track; it does that loud/quiet alt-rock thing to the max. In the loud bits synth pummel you into submission over a riotous rhythm track – there is this recurring frankly scary synth noise that seems to encompass all known frequencies all at once. In the quiet bits – well it gets less frantic, more sweet, more tuneful. And Rae’s voice goes from full blown scream it out to mesmerisingly pure.

But wait, for there is more. What Artio haven’t lost is that ability to surprise with the way they put a song together. There are still those layers of sounds melded together, there are still those unexpected sounds that make you smile with their brilliant invention and creativity. There is a subtlety to the loud bits that adds that something very special, there is a kind of dense sparseness in the quiet bits that thrills.

The other thing they’ve not lost is writing songs that are about something. The band explain ”Queen Cobra’ is about becoming what those b*tches say you are, but in the way, they’d spit their dummy out about. Everyone likes to call you a snake when you move on and cut toxic friends off and thrive, but snakes are actually really cool. Everyone paints snakes as these evil animals, but they’re a top predator, no one gets in the way of the snake. so i’ll just become the Queen Cobra.’’

Artio continue to impress, to progress. This release is a full on foot-stomping, mosh-pit filling anthem. A fierce statement of strength with equally as fierce music; and the two of those together, bloody wonderful. ‘Queen Cobra’ rocks.

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Frank is the website guy for Local Sound Focus. Takes a lot of photos and loves writing about new music.