If you knew and loved the Cows (and if you could know and not love them, you’ve got some kinda aberration up in your skull), the Sheiks are like a cold forty after eight weeks on the wagon. The Cows were my favorite band for longer than any other band ever held that title; they were the perfect thing to find and grab with both fists when hardcore started to lose its sheen for me, and I’ll suggest the same of the Heroine Sheiks: plenty of noise and little velocity, assembled in a tricky and masterful way that nobody else can touch and that will take any comer. Norman Westberg’s guitar is refined, often minimal and everywhere it needs to be, but Shannon’s lyrics and delivery are the real edge on the blade: “went in the back room with my Coors Light” becomes in a later verse “went in the bathroom and clogged the pipe.” In “Little Schoolgirl” he croons “I don’t want to hurt your feelings/ I just want to lay down on top of you” (did Sonny Boy Williamson write it that way?). And if he isn’t spitting some poetic gem, he’s whistling or hooting or blowing his venerable trumpet. If you think your musical diet is lacking something, it’s probably this.