If you love the Jesus & Mary Chain, Cool Serbia may just be your band.
5.5 / 10.0
With Cool Serbia‘s self-titled EP, the group has claimed sound similarities with the Jesus & Mary Chain and the Zombies. Unfortunately, that comparison falls way too heavily on the former to really break their own identity free. What you’ll find here is an entirely pleasant collection of heroin dosed surf songs. For their part, Cool Serbia does a fine job of donning that cap. They just do it so well that it is hard to avoid labeling this as anything more than a record trying to be The Jesus & Mary Chain a little much for its own good. Part of that problem can be attributed to this sub-genre itself. So doused in hazy studio effects, it only makes it harder for the individual quirks of the songwriters to shine through.
Were Cool Serbia to play a little more to that Zombies muse, it really could break this group from the mold. I’ll be honest, the idea of those power pop vocal harmonies playing around in this world was an attractive one. We just don’t get to hear it much. Furthermore, Cool Serbia also show quite a bit of promise in terms of arrangement. “French Exit” begins with a great Ronettes-esque introduction and continues with the record’s single best melody. This could be the band’s calling card, if cultivated. Nonetheless, there needs to be a dynamic added to the production to draw those melodies out a little more and truly make the songs memorable. Altogether, Cool Serbia is a promising start in terms of apparent potential, but offers little in the way of individual selling points to make the record more than that. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the music here. That’s exactly why I liked it when I first heard it twenty years ago.
Purchase Cool Serbia’s Cool Serbia