Every now and again I’ll get sent an album to review without either requesting it or, as is mostly the case, knowing the band at all. Often, as was the case of the copy I received of Two Cow Garage’s new album, Three (or III), it provokes two responses. The first, obviously enough, is one of elation that I’ve received, out of the blue, an album that I’ve come to cherish. The second, more than likely just as obvious, is depression that I’ve once again been shown just how little I know about what’s new and good in today’s music scene.
Takes a bit of the swagger out of my typing, really.
Fortunately, my ego assures me that it’s a lesson worth learning, especially if it comes in the form of good music. Two Cow Garage’s Three is just that. Sure, I’m a lowly writer from the depths of Arkansas who’s just admitted to not knowing all that there is to know about music, but I’ll be damned if this isn’t the best album I’ve heard in years.
From the moment the album kicks off with the staccato thump of drums and hands clapping on “Come Back To Shelby,” Micah Schnabel (vocals), Shane Sweeney (bass), and Dustin Harigle (drums, and anything else he can lay his hands on in the studio), lay down the foundation for the 48 minutes of nakedly amazing country-tinged rock to have ever graced my stereo.
Built upon songs dealing with coming to terms with the differences in the life one lives versus the life one dreamt of; politics, death, and the ever troubling aspects of relationships, Two Cow Garage has recorded something that not only demands that you listen to it but that you do so loudly — preferably live, in concert or solo in your car out on the highway, cranked.
Of course, I’m not trying to say that Three is in any way a reinvention of “the wheel,” but when an album crosses my ears that is so wonderfully direct in what it both is and aspires to be, that I can’t help but be excited about it. Unfortunately, when I’m excited, I tend to babble more than write anything informative… which is why I will now point you in the direction of both the band’s regular website and their myspace page. Once you’re there, give their songs a listen, and maybe then you’ll understand my excitement. Hell, maybe it’ll make you excited as well.
When’s the last time you could say that a band did that to you?