At ground level, My First Cowboy is a split release between two free-form, indie experimental rock groups: Italy's OvO and Rollerball from somewhere around Portland, OR. In fact, OvO's tracks were recorded while the group was touring the U.S. West Coast and feature members of Rollerball. Furthermore, the CD is not actually split in half; the tracks alternate in an irregular fashion, reinforcing the impression that this is a real collaborative album. OvO has come some way since Assassine -- or is it the fact that the band recorded this one with better equipment? Stefania Pedretti's screams and wails hit where it hurts ("Demon Paw," "Walker"). The deliberately clumsy piano experiments are a lot less convincing (case in point: "Estragon"), but "Castle Everyday," with drums, trumpet, and tapes, delivers a wonderful moment of controlled chaos. Rollerball is a somewhat more disciplined group, with tunes showing influences from dub, psychedelic rock (maybe Jackie-O Motherfucker), and a bit of jazz, especially in the spacy trumpet playing in "White Elephant." An album like My First Cowboy -- in limbo between experimental noise, punk, and pop, between D.I.Y. carelessness and a honest quest for new sounds -- leaves you in discomfort and a bit uncertain about its pertinence or artistic value. But it draws you back to it again and again, if only to understand why. That alone means that it does have a reason to be.
AllMusic Review by François Couture