Two contemporary Irish bands. So Cow: Prejudices. I have them. I like my pop to be ragged or at least crafted by people who don’t sound rich. (It’s called a prejudice because it doesn’t bear scrutiny. Yup. Fuck you, Richie Rich.) Pristine, bourgeois pop is like flipping through an Ikea catalog: plastic veneer on pulp in a world that never needs dusting; a world where “the help will take care of the mess.” My first impulse is to kick and smash right through the particleboard. So Cow are pop as all hell, but they treat their songs like nice pieces of real wood. They carefully cut like craftsman, showing both great finesse and are interested in displaying the unique character of the sourced material. I have a feeling that fans of XTC, Go Metric, and the Clean would find a lot to like in their five songs. Squarehead: We’re dealing with two sides of the same coin with these two bands. Tons of natural sunshine and shimmer. They bring to mind a section of Memphis’s Alicja Trout’s oeuvre to mind: Mouserocket and Alicja Pop, in particular. Appealing, bubbling-up pop that’s got just the right amounts of tang, sour, and non-chemical sweetness to balance it all out. All-around enjoyable.