The Cowboy – The Cowboy Album (Drunken Sailor Records / Fashionable Idiots, 2017)

Not to be confused with Indiana’s The Cowboys, who have also had material put out through Drunken Sailor, The Cowboy are from Cleveland, Ohio and are made up of members of The Homostupids and Pleasure Leftists.

I think this is one of those classic cases of don’t judge a book by its cover. The artwork is fairly dreadful. It’s a snide drawing of a cowboy. I can only hope it was done by somebody’s kid, either that or somebody is trying to be a smart-arse. I had an idea once of being a bit of a smart-arse and drawing a load of Cyclops style monsters in red biro with my left hand, and passing it off as modern art, just to see if I could get away with it. Sadly, I never got around to it, as I had more pressing concerns on a daily basis, such as bemoaning how shit my life was.

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Anyway, I digress. I’ve seen The Cowboy referenced eleswhere as a psychobilly band, but fuck that nonsense, it’s woefully inaccurate. This record seems to sit somewhere between the furious ‘proper emotional hardcore’ of Embrace (the DC one, not them maudlin tedious pieces of shit from Huddersfield – Come Back To What You Know? I don’t fucking think so, sunshine) the Rites of Spring LP and the melodic dynamism of Dag Nasty’s seminal Can I Say LP. There’s something else that I can’t quite put my finger on that is a bit suggestive of Big Black… only I’m not sure why. I’m also put in mind of Cloak / Dagger’s first album (We Are Cloak / Dagger), which also seemed to me to be worshipping the same shit.

I’m not 100% clear on this, but I kind of envisage that these songs are themed around a cast of characters that you’d find in a gritty Western film or something. I’m probably about a zillion miles wide of the actual mark there, though. Whatever the actual truth of the matter is, the soundtrack is pretty pleasing to these ears right here, being as it is flavoured with seeming references to some of the more decent, listenable and none self-indulgent end of the “proper emo” section of the Dischord back catalogue (for reference, as well as any aforementioned bands, I would also include Bluetip here).

My cuts of choice keep changing, but at the time of writing are Golden Man, The Door and On The Farm
Tony of Nurgle rating: 8/10

Anyways, check it for yourselves on the player below…

You can get it on transparent yellow or plain black vinyl from Drunken Sailor here

It’s also available from Fashionable Idiots in the US. I can make no sense of how you buy it, other than emailing FASHIONABLEIDIOTSRECORDS@GMAIL.COM for details. Good luck…

Tony of Nurgle is a true child of the North, currently living in exile in Croydon, South East London. He used to co-run a specialist record store in Manchester (Roadkill Records), and also spent a couple of years as a promoter, and put on shows for the likes of Leatherface, the Loved Ones, Lucero, Minus The Bear, These Arms Are Snakes, Spy vs Spy, Latterman etc. He also spent several years DJing at shady rock clubs in Manchester, and started the infamous Thursday night “punk room” at Jilly’s Rockworld. Also responsible for Middle Finger Response, and collaborated with a couple of friends on a monthly night called Refuse to Lose, which will still occasionally reunite the original DJ line-up – hopefully in the not too distant future.
Apart from that, it’s all bitterness and a jaundiced view of human nature, rarely skateboarding, often reading books with maps in the front.

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