Monday, July 06, 2020

Cows - Sorry in Pig Minor

I am pretty much completely ignorant of (the) Cows, a noise band from Minneapolis, but my pal Rob just gifted me this CD, their final release from 1998, appropriately on Amphetamine Reptile Records. The band is described as noise punk, but has plenty of other influences, from free jazz to No Wave to rap to funk to grunge as well as the kitchen sink and the rest of the appliances. It all makes for an odd, but not unenjoyable listening experience.

I dig the opening monologue of a suicidal man saved by a cockroach, backed by a hip, repetitive groove that suddenly bursts into an explosive shriek of feedback'n'voice, "No, I'm Not Coming Out" is kinda a mix of a No Wave/jazzy backing, Dylan-esque singing and little kids backing vocals, all topped with wild, distorted guitar, "Finished Again" has a similar instro feel but with pulsating feedback flourishes, "Dear Dad" is a mellower, jazz-noize instrumental, "Eureka! Funday!" is based on tribal drums, in a Fall-ish fashion, with positively melodic vocals over the dynamics, while "Death in the Tallweeds" is practically funk/punk in a Red Hot Chili Peppers manner.

Kinda reminiscent of James Chance in a No Wave/Funk kinda way is "El Shiksa" while "Life After Beth" is essentially a noize/rap number (at least in my twisted mind), then "Saliva of the Fittest" is sorta high-energy tribal/punk (strangely, with hints of Kiss at the end), "Felon of Troy" reminds me a bit of the horn-centric noisier aspects of Union Carbide Productions in an aggressive jazz setting and it all winds down with "Say Uncle", which is similar to what Nirvana would sound like as a noize band. (There is a "hidden track", but it's pretty much just a novelty and not really worth the wait, in my opinion!)

Neat stuff, not sure how often I'll replay it, but dig the concepts for sure and will certainly give it more spins to really delve into it.