Two Cow Garage - "III"

So in the last two days, I've spent a lot of time listening to "III" ... the new album from Two Cow Garage. It comes out on April 24, 2007. Two Cow Garage bassist/vocalist Shane Sweeney gave me a copy of the unmastered tracks at the Tim Easton concert in Columbus on Wednesday.

Don't let the addition of a horn section for one song and some kick-ass piano/keyboard work in other tracks fool you - this is still all the face-melting rock you expect from Two Cow Garage ... and this album is AMAZING.

(For the record, one of my favorite albums ever is Bruce Springsteen's Born To Run (1975) for the amazing use of piano in a rock record. "Now I Know" from the new Tow Cow Garage album follows that formula - amazing use of piano - while at the same time, reminding me a lot of a vastly different Springsteen song - "Open All Night" from 1982's Nebraska.)

I've seen Two Cow Garage rock out a few times (the words are here and the photos are here) ... "The Great Gravitron Massacre" and "'88 Camero" and "Camo Jacket" (you'll recognize the 'I don't want to but I will' lines from any live show) have been live favorites of mine ... I'm glad to see them finally released out to the public in awesome studio versions.

And I'll be honest, I was totally looking forward to having a studio version of "The Great Gravitron Massacre" ... na na na na na na na ... so I was certain that would be my favorite song on the CD.

It's third.

A distant third.

For the record - second is "'88 Camero" ...

"Park the car, kill the engine and the headlights
We can talk until it feels right if my hands can wait that long
In the backseat of that '88 Camero
With The Who on the radio
We won't get fooled again."

What stands out most to me, though, thematically, throughout the album, is that the cracks of being a hard-rocking, hard-working, much-traveled indie rock band are creeping into the songwriting ... most noticeable in "No Shame," and "Epitaph." If you know the band, the foursome that pours it out on stages all over the country, you can understand it. And hopefully appreciate the frustration.

But the highlight of the album, for me, and my favorite song on the CD (and creeping into my all-time favorites, ever,) is "Should've California."


This song just absolutely blew me away.

On my first listen through the disc, I repeated that song four or five times before moving on to the next track. "Should've California" is a simple song musically, with simple lyrics that hit like fucking bomb.

It's been a long time since I've felt what that song made me feel - that connection to the songwriter and what he's feeling. That's my number one requirement for music I want to listen to over and over. I want songwriters to write songs where I can feel what you feel.

And there's no doubting that in this track. This is the second verse:

"I think I should've moved west, like my brother
Southern California could have been good to me
I shouldn't be wasting all of my time
In these basement bars with this rock and roll band
I should've been smarter
I should've been stronger
I should've been you."

Outside of that entire lyrical set of "Should've California" ... my three favorite lines on this CD are as follows:

"My friends will say it's something that I need to endure.
But endurance ain't a lesson it's a terminal bore."
("Now I Know")

"I don't want your forgiveness, or your infinite patience.
I've tried my damnedest, guess i'll try mediocre instead."

Thanks for asking but things have never been worse."
("No Shame")

"III" from Two Cow Garage arrives in stores on April 24th. Here's the complete track list:

01. Come Back To Shelby
02. Epitath
03. No Shame
04. The Great Gravitron Massacre
05. Now I Know
06. Should've California
07. Camo Jacket
08. Mediocre
09. '88 Camero
10. Gape and Shudder
11. Blanket Gray
12. Arson
13. Postcards and Apologies

Remember - April 24th. Buy it.

Love it.

And when Two Cow Garage comes to your town, get out there and support them.

And all local and traveling musicians.

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