The Cows

Daddy Has a Tail

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On their Amphetamine Reptile Records debut, the Cows sound like a Midwest punk rock band who had listened to every Swans and Butthole Surfers album thousands of times, consecutively. Borrowing the former's noisiness and sonic girth, and the latter's Beefheart-ian weirdness, the Cows were forerunners of the noise rock scene essentially birthed by Amrep, a scene that included Helmet, Surgery, God Bullies, Unsane, and Halo of Flies. In many ways, Daddy Has a Tail showcases a band experimenting sonically, finding their voice -- at least trying to -- much in the way Butthole Surfers did with the messy Rembrandt Pussyhorse. Daddy Has a Tail's guitars are an overdose of distortion; the bass trembles and wails far too much, and the songs just aren't quite there yet. Beyond that, Shannon Selberg hasn't fully manned his screwball vocal chariot. That would all slide into place on subsequent releases. However, songs like "Chow" stand out as Cows classics.

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