COWBOYS: 3rd LP: LP

As a former Bloomingtonian, it makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside to see the Cowboys doing so well. They were up-and-comers when I left town in 2015, and seemed to be one of those bands that could disappear any day without proof they were the best band from Bloomington of their time (in much the same way the Horribly Wrong were almost lost to the cornfields of Indiana some ten years before). But no, we have recorded proof they exist! The Cowboys have released many tapes, so I have a tough time keeping up with their discography. For example, this record is called 3rd LP but I only have one other full length. Goddamn tapes! This album has a mellower vibe than the self-titled Lumpy Records release I own. Gone is much of the squiggly guitar work and Dead Kennedys-esque guitar tone. That’s not to say these are bad songs by any means! It’s always been clear the band members are competent at their respective instruments, and it’s always been clear their influences come from punk plus other genres. Side two seems to have more of the rockers. I caught them live on the album release tour and live they’re coming off as very much 3rd LP. It’s bands like the Cowboys that almost make me wish I bought tapes. –Sal Lucci (Hozac, hozacrecords.com)