When Blast talked to Cobra Starship last spring, the album was untitled with an unknown release date and a rumored collaboration with Gossip Girl Leighton Meester. Now the boys and girl of Cobra Starship are rocking a top 10 Itunes single in good part thanks to that collaboration with Meester, and “Hot Mess” drops tomorrow, August 11th.

All bassist Alex Suarez and drummer Nate Novarro would tell us in May was that Cobras would continue their celebrity bashing ways “" but with an introspective touch considering they themselves were now celebrities.

After hearing the entire album, Blast can confirm that they boys were telling the truth. So before you get any further into this, any person crossing their fingers that front man Gabe Saporta would magically turn the Cobra Starship outfit into “Midtown continued” should grab a box of tissues and cry themselves another river because it didn’t happen. For those who have been sweating their asses off in their purple hoodies and throwing “ËœFangs up’ all summer in anticipation for “Hot Mess”, please continue.

Members: Gabe Saporta (vocals), Alex Suarez (bass), Ryland Blackinton (guitar), Victoria Asher (keytar), Nate Novarro (drums)
Album: Hot Mess
Release Date: August 11, 2009
Produced by: Cobra Starship, Kevin Rudolf, Mike Caren & Oligee
Label: Decaydance/Fueled By Ramen
Rating: [rating:3/4]

The album kicks off with “Nice Guys Finish Last”, which sets up the “I’m a bad boy” theme that pervades throughout the rest of the record. The first track’s “Womanizer” beat also makes it apparently clear that “Hot Mess” is going to be a wet dream for radio stations across the country.

“Pete Wentz is the Only Reason We’re Famous” was the first song the Cobras released to the public and brings Saporta’s staple tongue-in-cheek lyrics to another level. The title of the song alone goes with the Cobra Starship attitude that you can’t crack a joke on them if they crack it first. Look out for the line “You can ride to the top/but you can’t ride on my cock” which helped earn the first ever Explicit rating for the Cobras.

“You’re Not in on the Joke” (which shares writing credit with Pete Wentz and Patrick Stump) and “Move Like You Gonna Die” follow in the same vein as “Pete Wentz” as far as calling out scene kids who think of the Cobras as a joke. Saporta turns the laugh around with lines like “I’ve just got one side to show you all/My ass is awesome/So smile while you’re kissing it”. The album is full of “stick it to them” mantras, showing that Saporta is more than aware of what the critics are saying but still doesn’t give a shit.

“Hot Mess” also does not neglect to take Cobra’s reputation as a “dance band” to the next level. The already explosive “Good Girls Go Bad” proves the Cobra potential for radio superstardom. If it hasn’t happened already, high school quarterbacks across the country will be throwing up fangs, claiming they know how to make all the girls go bad. The title track of the album follows suit with the first single, with a ridiculously catchy hook and a synth-soaked beat that makes it impossible not to “shake it shake it”. Both songs have the potential to replace “Since U Been Gone” as this generation’s #1 karaoke anthem.

“Hot Mess” turns into a somewhat perfect summer driving soundtrack, with “Fold Your Hands Child”, “Living in the Sky With Diamonds” and “The Scene is Dead, Long Live the Scene” acting as the somber side of the rise and low mixture essential to any good mix. “Fold Your Hands Child” may rival “One Day Robots Will Cry” as Saporta’s most personal song to date, depicting a long-term relationship in the face of haters. “The Scene is Dead” is worth putting on repeat a few times. The medication and hospital references give a little insight to Saporta’s battle with hospitals over the past year, from throat surgeries to broken ankles, and the pressure to be everyone’s “favorite man”.

“Hot Mess” exemplifies Cobra Starship taking their mission to make “scene kids” stop taking themselves so seriously and to make everyone have a good time to a new level. The things old fans loved about previous Cobra records are still there, and amplified. Every song is synth loaded and Saporta’s voice takes some serious doses of auto tune which creates an album full of ultra-pop-dance floor super anthems.

Those that have been following the band since the “Snakes on a Plane” anthem should prepare themselves accordingly because “Hot Mess” will be the album that puts Cobra Starship on the map. Get ready because everyone that looked at your hoodie with golden snakes on it and asked “What the hell is that?” will now be singing “Hot Mess” with empty Solo cups as microphones. But this album will put Cobra Starship everywhere they have wanted to be. You just have to decide if you are going to love “Ëœem or hate “Ëœem for it.

About The Author

Megan Vick is a Blast editor-at-large

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