COWTOWN: Paranormal Romance: LP

Jan 18, 2017

The drums on this album come out swinging and are completely relentless for twelve raucous tracks. While this band emulates the sound of The Dickies more than anything else to me, I’m willing to admit that it’s the vocals that take me furthest to that comparison. On paper, they’re nothing like the goofy, prop-wielding goofballs, though elements of Leonard Grave Phillips (with an occasional vibrato veering towards Marissa Paternoster of Screaming Females) come careening through. Production-wise, this record is slick and crisp, like the first bite of a polished, waxy apple. It’s non-stop rock’n’roll that is incredibly dancey. Cowtown’s guitar melodies are infectious, but it’s the fast, hard, near-panic-inducing drumming that grabs me the most. I don’t know when their percussionist gets a chance to come up for air. The beats have a constant double tap on the snare that is mind boggling and they somehow feels faster than d-beat. I’d compare them to Nomeansno, but only in the sense that they’re frantic, unconventional, and hard to pin down at times. “Let Go” hits on a new wave tinge—especially with the added keyboard hooks—that lands somewhere around Adam Ant and Devo. The lyrics are simple and easy to sing along to, while not being vapid or devoid of any reliability. This is a cacophony of tunes from the U.K. that’d easily kick off any party. –Kayla Greet (HHBTM,