Album #255: Cows – Cunning Stunts

  • Released: 1992
  • Origin: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
  • Label: Amphetamine Reptile
  • Best Track: Mine

I was a bit short of inspiration for what to listen to today, so I had a look at what Apple Music was recommending for me based on my recent plays. Top of the list was this 1992 album from Cows, who I’ve heard a bit of before.

Cupid Stunts was the fifth album from a band featuring guitars, drums, and more than the odd outburst of trombone and trumpet, but they were way too experimental and devoid of melody to be called ska.

Critics seem to settle on ‘noise-rock’ to describe their output, and it sure is noisy! Check out opener ‘Heave Ho’ for that buzzing brass onslaught.

I can draw comparisons between them and their contemporaries Mudhoney, with the often repetitive hammered-out riffs and gnarly vocals, with ‘Everybody’ and the superb ‘Mine’ exemplifying this best.

By all accounts, this album is Cows at the point where they became structured and conventional. Their early stuff must be as weird as anything!

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