Some will agree, some will disagree, but Shit The Cow is not a good band name. I kinda ‘get it’. It’s like, “Shit the Bed!” and “Holy Cow!” all rolled into one, but why name your band that? It’s memorable in a way I guess, but beyond the initial chortle it gives me little beyond that first nasal snort, only a sinking feeling of mild disappointment and immaturity. Not a good start there then, but let’s get those tunes on and see how they stack up…
Shit The Cow formed in Stockholm, Sweden with the aim to make a name for themselves in a line of work known as skrotrock (scrap yard rock) by melding stoner rock aesthetics to a garage rock template. Guitar skits and clinking riffs with plenty of clean punch and little in the way of low-end are the order of the day as this four-piece band unleash their third self-released EP in as many years. Taking the title Rissna from the small village in the woods of northern Sweden where they recorded the record over a weekend in late April 2014, Shit The Cow waste little time in getting down to groovy, fret-licking business.
The clearest obvious influence on the face of this five-track salvo is that of Fatso Jetson, with lead vocalist Pete’s throat taking on an overtly Mario Lalli-esque tone. Those distinct vocal stylistics coupled with the tinny telecaster guitar sound of both Pete and sometime-axemen-sometime bass-hunters Erka and Danno, give tracks like The Pieces Of Lead and Down Below a distinctly Desert Sessions feel. Robin’s drums are simple and shuffle along like a janitor in a school closed for summer; tapping at and mopping up everything in sight.
Elsewhere there’s a tendency to spot a stoner-doom chug married with an indie sense of harmonics and melody as the likes of the driving Common Enemy and triumphant opener This Is The Shit spark into life. Imagine what would happen if Red Fang replaced their singer and one guitarist with the equivalent members of Modest Mouse or Maximo Park and you might be onto a description worthy of serving the rear label of Shit The Cow’s official wine bottle, if such an item ever exists. Halfway-point track Legion Of Death has a nice little bass roll running throughout, but fails to build the intrigue and vigour of Rissna’s other more anthemic numbers.
Rissna is a pleasant enough little romp through light-hearted, yet well-worn stoner rock territories. If you dig the likes of Desert Sessions, Red Fang and Truckfighters and aren’t afraid of uplifting vocals, then I imagine you’ll get on with Shit The Cow just fine. However, there’s little here that you can’t gain elsewhere from any of the bands I’ve already mentioned above and so if you’re looking for wheel-reinventing metal, I’d advise you to continue your search for creative mastery elsewhere. Shit The Cow isn’t a good name and is one which put me off from the onset to be honest, but there’s no disputing that the Swedish countryside is still capable of giving us the finest skrotrock available.
I wonder if their favourite drink is mooooooooo-nshine…
Scribed by: Pete Green