Wednesday, September 26, 2012

SHIT THE COW "Volume/Cow"

(c) 2012 Independent Release

  1. Head Over Wheels
  2. Darkness Never Ending
  3. Shit The Cow Is On Fire
  4. Holy Cow
Daniel Kjellberg--Guitar/Bass
Peter Soderberg--Guitars/Vocals

Umm, no...this isn't a joke.  Shit The Cow is a very real, surprisingly good, two-man project from Sweden.  Labeling themselves as "scrapyard rock", Shit The Cow combines an Iggy Pop-meets-The Pet Shop Boys-meets-The Refreshments sound with some lo-fi garage rock sensibilities and a fair dose of 80's New Wave music thrown in.  If this sounds like an eclectic mix, it is.  If it sounds like it could be a train wreck of epic certainly could be if not handled properly!  Perhaps it's a good thing this is just a 4-track EP, because I am not sure where this band would end up sonically if they went another four or five tracks!

The album opener has a punked-up surf rock sound to the guitars with synthesized vocals that really recall a lot of the 80's New Wave scene.  The raw bass thumping along with the programmed drums help provide the foundation for a lyrically-repetitive song that, for some reason, I find oddly catchy.  "Darkness Never Ending" continues the band's New Wave worship, but this time taking a darker musical slant that gives a nod to The Velvet performed by Monster Magnet!  "Shit The Cow Is On Fire" is a sparse number that recalls some of the music recorded by the Refreshments, but with vocals that are a DEAD RINGER for those of Boys Don't Cry a la "I Wanna Be A Cowboy" from 1986 and one of the most ridiculous choruses I think I have ever heard.  And then, with the EP's closer, "Holy Cow" is the darkest sounding material on the disc, with quasi-angry vocal, fuzzed-up bass, and some noisy guitar tones muddling along through this 80's retro romp.  Do you get what I'm saying here?  There is really no simple way to identify what the band is doing here other than to say you likely haven't heard anything like it in quite some time, if ever.  This EP reminds me of the soundtrack of an 80's movie that would always feature one or two top 40 singles and then all sorts of underground garage rock.  In fact, I think you could take Volume/Cow and plug it into the background for Christian Slater's Pump Up The Volume, or Kiefer Sutherland's Lost Boys, with very few people knowing a difference at all as long as you left "Lunatic Fringe" and "Lost In The Shadows" in their respective movie's soundtrack!

The packaging is about as simple as it can get, as this EP comes in a cardboard slipcase with no pictures, notes, lyrics, or anything else.  Heck, had I not been sent what passes for the band's press kit along with the CD, I wouldn't even know who played on the disc!  This is a total indy project all the way. 

Shit The Cow is retro in the truest modern sense, and true children of the 70's and 80's are likely to feel a sense of nostalgia for 1986 Top 40 radio when they spin Volume/Cow.  I will NEVER say that Shit The Cow is going to be a frequent player for me...but I will say I would like to hear more from these two guys, if for no other reason than to see if the train wreck I mentioned in the opening paragraph ever occurs!

Available on iTunes, Spotify, and if you choose to check it out...

Rating:  Rock this to a bizarre...and still charming...6.5.

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