The Cowboys – Volume 4 (Drunken Sailor Records, 2017)

Argh! Help! I’ve been reluctantly hurled back to 1969. Don’t worry though; I’m happy because I’m amongst friends such as the MC5 and The Stooges.

If that ridiculous opening gambit was to become a reality (or, at the very least, the start of a really shit film), the first few tracks on the latest release from Indiana’s The Cowboys wouldn’t be amiss amongst such the Garage Rock greats of that era; well, the production, sound and overall attitude seems to want to emulate this anyway.

Keith Harman’s vocals are partially secluded by an overindulged ‘50s style slapback echo reverb but still maintain a punk rock snarl and Biafra warble on tracks such as, ‘The Look On Your Face’. However, Harman’s voice really shines through, floating on a Leonard Cohen cloud of melancholoy and casual indifference on stand out track, ‘Pseudomasochism’ and the ponderous and ever so cheeky, ‘After Sunset’. This kind of vibe is nicely juxtaposed with the knitting-needle-piercing-your cerebral-cortex freakout of ‘Crisco Kid’, providing this record with a welcome kick in the nads.

There is that one song that sounds almost exactly like The Strokes though; it makes me want to go all pseudomasochistic and kick myself in the nads.
Volume 4 has a thread of melodic, danceable (from harmless foot tapping to full on schizz out headbanging), albeit safe, harmless tunes and is a thoroughly uplifting and satisfying listen; especially enhanced by the charmingly archaic guitar tones.

Pick up the LP from Drunken Sailor here

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