Meet San Francisco’s Black Cobra Vipers. A young rock trio comprised of guitarist/lead singer Gregory DiMartino, bassist Julian Borrego and drummer Rob Mills, their debut EP was released at the end of August 2012 and we’re quite happy to have stumbled on it. Each of the six tracks feature the band’s ability to play both earnest, no-BS rock and roll (“Draw Me An Arrow”), and slowed-down groovy numbers that take their time (“Fringe”). DiMartino’s vocals are impressively unique while remaining accessible; a mix of rust and howl coated with a bit of swoon for good measure.
As DiMartino explained to us (in a way that leads us to believe they’ve all got a good sense of humor), he and Borrego grew up together in the San Fernando Valley before meeting Mills while attending SF State, and ultimately forming the band:
Julian and I grew up together in Sherman Oaks. He played in a very popular local act called Billy Boy on Poison, with whom I saw him perform at the Whiskey A Go Go, and was most impressed. I thought, ‘I want to be in a cool band and wrap microphone cables around my neck.’ But I never approached him. Years later I saw him in my dorms at SF State. I then had courage enough to ask, ‘Wanna jam?’ He said, ‘OK’ and we worked some tunes out. We would play acoustic guitars in peculiar meadows around campus at night. One time passing by a window, a woman shouted ‘You guys sound cool!’ Said woman turned out to be a man; future drummer Rob Mills. Being music majors, Rob and Julian would jazz out all day, and developed a cool pocket. We all put it together and stamped a name on it and that was that. I came up with the name Black Cobra Vipers when I was 13 or so with Max Weinberg from Conan and John Stamos in mind. Said venture proved fruitless.
We have no reason the believe the same will be said for this venture. After you’ve listened to their EP above, check out the video below from a recent live performance at Brick and Mortar. They’ll be back at the B&M on November 10th as openers for Grahame Lesh (son of Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh) and Aleya Bray. Additionally, they’re slated to play Oakland’s 410 Ballroom September 22nd with a host of other local acts. More info and tickets here.
The Mishap Science Fair, The Here, James Call and Erotic Photo Hunt, Black Cobra Vipers
September 22, 2012
Grahame Lesh, Aleya Bray, Black Cobra Vipers
Brick and Mortar Music Hall
November 10, 2012