Cool Serbia – Cool Serbia Review

Cool Serbia

If you love the Jesus & Mary Chain, Cool Serbia may just be your band.



Self-Released, 2013

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.

Key Tracks:
“Dream Lover”
“French Exit”

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About Chris Bell

Chris Bell was born in the suburbs of Kansas City, MO in 1981. His path toward a life enjoying music began at ten, when he first heard Queen. Chris attended Truman State University in Kirksville, MO, where he studied English and Communication Arts. While there, Chris spent three years working as an on-air disc jockey for 88.7 KTRM Radio. Chris was the host/creator of the weekly ‘Tangled Up In Bob’ show and a frequent guest on the station’s weekend talk format, serving as a guest commentator on music and politics. It was during this time that Chris was first published by the National Communication Association. His work, ‘Dylan and the New Left: How Political Song Changed American Political Rhetoric’ was presented at the 2002 NCA National Convention in New Orleans. Chris was the only undergraduate to present research on his panel, ‘Rhetorical Strategies in Music’. After college, Chris moved back to Kansas City and started his own talent management company, Poker Face Productions. He continued to manage that company until moving to Brooklyn, NY to pursue a business opportunity in 2008. While there, Chris started as a weekly column writer and album reviewer for 411music.com. Now back in the Midwest, Chris is hoping to bring what he learned about music media in New York to his hometown and support an already vibrant arts culture in Kansas City. His areas of concentration include American Roots, Glam Rock, Punk, Psychedelia, Chamber Pop, American Underground, and Garage Rock.

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