Longtime denizens of the Minneapolis rock scene, the Cows are one of America's great degenerate punk rock bands. Starting off as near-total incompetents, they have become more technically polished musicians during the '90s, but their white-hot noise rock has not been tamed one bit. In many ways, the Cows remain as gloriously messy, primitive, and exciting as they were the day they started. Formed in the mid-'80s by idiosyncratic lead singer Shannon Selberg, the Cows appropriated the hardcore guitar blur that characterized fellow-Twin Citians Hüsker Dü, but stripped away any and all concessions to melodies, hooks, riffs -- essentially anything that remotely resembled pop. What they offered was a blazing wall of distortion that was punk rock at its crudest; a feral racket that sounded as if the guitars were being played with metal files.
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