Cober

With the Malarkies and Lovekill. Tuesday, September 9, at the Lime Spider.

Za-Za Food and Drink 13897 Cedar Road 216-320-1300. Hours: 5 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Bar stays open until 2 a.m.
Though Cober has supported accomplished goth outfits such as Gene Loves Jezebel and Faith & Disease, the band is more noticeably influenced by alternative music of the early '90s. The ferocity of Babes in Toyland's Kat Bjelland and the lyrical soul-wrenching of Juliana Hatfield echo in the whispers and wails of frontwoman Sheila Bommakanti. She's a gothic renaissance woman, a multi-instrumentalist who produced and wrote all the music on Cober's two albums. But it's her voice, impassioned by her fight to confront her insecurities, that demands attention. Though she's prone to tiresome fits of self-loathing, the band's moody melodies and crunching guitar make them easier to swallow than a typical Trent Reznor whine-tasting.

On Cober's latest, The Breaker, guitarist Lelani LaGuardia creates lulling, repetitive swirls around Bommakanti's low-register brooding, throwing in the occasional unusual chord progression just as some songs start to drag. Sadly, the instrumentation is relegated to merely accenting the vocals; when Bommakanti falls short of maintaining the pace, the entire song slips into lethargy.

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