The sonic assault of Sweet Cobra has been described by critics as everything from “hypnotic, riff-driven mayhem” to “sludgy groove with hardcore intensity.” Still, that doesn’t do their unmistakably original sound justice. When Jason Gagovski (Suicide Note) and Botchy Vasquez (The Killer, and Challenger) formed Sweet Cobra in 2002, each brought a penchant for ‘70s inspired groove rock and the ghosts of their hardcore pasts. The formation of Sweet Cobra allowed Vasquez to come from behind the drumkit to be vocalist/bass player for the first time. Robert Lanham joined on guitar, adding raw, instinctive creativity that converged with guitarist Matt Arluck’s (RIP) meticulous pummeling to form the backbone of the group’s sound. Sweet Cobra quickly coalesced into something at once relentlessly crushing and trance-inducing, a wave of crashes and builds that dives into dark trenches before slowly crawling up for air.