Shit the Cow
In the almost year and a half now that my fellow LxL’ers and I have been writing this blog, we have had our fair share of spam mail from bands across the world asking for a plug here and there. Most of the time it is a generic blurb about how they love our blog and would appreciate a little promotion, even though it is clearly a mindless email that had been sent out to any and every music website that the bands promoter had come across. Further more, after attempting to listen to the first few bands that were sending us these emails, I quickly realized why they were turning to a small blog for promotion, and that’s because nobody else could bare to listen to them. Well uponst receiving one of these random emails last week, something caught my eye. At first it was the senders name: Shit Cow. We had just received a message from Shit Cow. “Interesting,” I thought while pondering how this could not become anything but more interesting. Then the subject: New Swedish Rock! Again, something told me I HAD to dig further. I am not particularly familiar with Swedish rock music (other than The Cardigans of course), and I figured that was a problem. Especially if Swedish rockers are naming their bands things like Shit Cow. Well after opening the email I quickly realized the bands name was not simply Shit Cow, but rather Shit the Cow. And as if that didn’t make the band more enticing enough, this is how they described themselves in their email:
“We come from Kiss’ disco days, Queens of the Stone Age’s first album and early PJ Harvey. But first and foremost we try to sound like the rusty old evil truck from Steven Spielberg’s 1971 Duel.”
It was at that moment I decided that yes indeed, I will certainly be giving Shit the Cow the good ole’ college try. The music comparison alone was enough to peak my interest, but the fact that they had even heard of the pre-Jaws 1971 made-for-TV Spielberg masterpiece Duel appropriately “pushed me over the edge”.
^Spielberg should have retired after this, just so War Horse was never made.
First things first, I had to verify that KISS actually did have a “disco days” era, and indeed they did. In 1979, KISS released Dynasty. A 9-track nugget of poo that while most thrashed on, others actually thrashed too. It was KISS’ most love/hate album to date, and although taking quite the blow critically, it thrived tremendously commercially. I previewed a few tracks and decided that now that I know all the entities of their comparison, it was time for me to see for myself what Shit the Cow was really made of.
Instantly upon beginning “Head Over Wheels”, the opening track to the 4-song EP volume/cow, I was transported back to sixth grade and my after-school routine of blasting 96.3 The Edge (Fort Wayne, Indiana’s best source for alternative rock music back in the day) while playing Playstation’s greatest vehicular combat game Twisted Metal. I could name endless grungy alternative 90’s bands that Shit the Cow does a great job fusing together in many different moments of those 4 tracks, but I will let their description stand alone here. There is no need to try and compete with their own poetic genius, especially because of how well their description actually works.
Shit the Cow do not sound pretty. There is nothing pristine or clean about their sound or production. They sound dirty. Their lyrics are crass and sometimes juvenile. They have a thrilling/scary/almost depressing vibe to them that I can only describe as “that feeling you would get as a pre-pubecent teenager on the verge of trying to decide wether you should make bad decisions or not.” And I love every second of it. It is a very nostalgic 90’s sound to me, and one that doesn’t get replicated very much these days. Most modern bands that try to recreate that 90’s sound now but they do it in a different light. They go after the fuzzy guitar sounds of Dinosaur Jr., or quirk of Pavement, or the messiness of Sonic Youth. Shit the Cow takes on the other spectrum of grunge rockers, and they do it well.
As far as I know, the 4-track EP volume/cow is all Shit the Cow currently have out to listen too, which for me merely aroused my appetite without bedding it down. After four ruggedly aggressive, raw but still produced, fun-filled tracks, I was ready for more. If you’re like me and you’d like to re-live your “bad decision making middle school years” of the 90’s, than check out Shit the Cow’s entire EP volume/cow here! It’s the sound you will love to regret.
EP Rating: 7/11