Garage-Country-Punk-Rock is how I tried to describe this music to someone, but it still doesn’t fit quite right and to be honest it’s really difficult to pigeon-hole this band. They’re somewhere between Lucero and the Hold Steady, then the next tune and they’re playing MOR rock and roll, then they sound like the Replacements, then they opt for a grungier sound, then you start to listen to their lyrics and you realise that they owe an awful lot to people like Jeff Tweedy. So I guess my original explanation is probably still the best way to describe Two Cow Garage – Garage-Country-Punk-Rock it is then. But that still doesn’t sound right to me… They’re more than the sum of their parts.
Three, is their third album. And it is an accomplished album showcasing this small, yet hard-working, band – they’ve played nearly two hundred live shows a year for the last few years – in the best possible light.
Opener, ‘Come Back to Shelby’ and follow-up, ‘Epitaph’ are rollocking numbers which are great to listen to with the stereo cranked up to 11. ‘No Shame’ is a more mature song showcasing the band’s lyrical talents – they are not rock-god demi-Gods with no failings, but real human beings saying there’s no shame in failed careers, relationships and even in failing the rock n roll dream. This is even more pronounced in their song ‘Mediocre’, which as you can guess by the title, is a tale of not quite reaching expectations and is far from being true to the song’s name.
‘Should’ve California’, a song which was widely blogged about at the time of this album’s release last year, is in a similar vain, although the backing is softer. It’s a very mature and, at times, spell-blinding song which wouldn’t feel out of place in the UK’s top 20 singles chart right now. A great little tune about regret and reflection, that sounds as if it was written by someone who is much older than the Two Cow Garage boys almost certainly are.
The rest of the album is heavy rocking Garage-Country-Punk-Rock as I previously explained. And it is, as with the Hold Steady’s and Lucero’s recent releases, a great album to get drunk to, a great album to dance to, and a great album to sing along with close friends to. It’s definitely a sound which gets better with every swig from an oversized bottle of Jack Daniels.