Two Cow Garage

The Wall Against Our Back

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It's really a shame that the Bob Stinson edition of the Replacements never did much more than flirt with country music. If they had, the results would have sounded an awful lot like Two Cow Garage's The Wall Against Our Back, and that's intended as a compliment to both bands. Recorded in appropriately garage-like conditions by Slobberbone's Brent Best (who infuses the proceedings with the same ragged-but-right feel as his own band), the Columbus-based trio blasts out 13 songs that toy with grunge-era soft/LOUD dynamics at a thrashing pace. The relentless forward motion is broken once -- again, just like on a Replacements album -- by "Saturday Night," a solo acoustic ballad by singer Micah Schnabel that gives the otherwise Westerberg-hoarse singer a chance to be a bit more gentle to his vocal cords and the listener a chance to rest up a bit for the seething revved-up country two-step of "If This Is Home" and the flat-out punk fury of "Smell of Blood," which wouldn't sound out of place on a Hüsker Dü album. Cowpunk (as opposed to the more polite and rootsy alternative country) lives on in these grooves.

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