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State Cows: State Cows

With a name like State Cows, you know that this duo of Daniel Andersson and Stefan Olofsson just have to be from somewhere like Sweden. Especially when the cover of their self titled debut album comes adorned with a nattily dressed herd of cows driving a Cadillac! Oddly though you would never guess where this band came from by listening to this release, as instead of the usual Scandie sound of melodic rock, State Cows offer up an album that is as West Coast as they come. The grooves are light and airy and the songs are complex and beautifully arranged without ever becoming too caught up in their own importance. The sound of Chicago, Steely Dan and Toto abounds throughout the whole disc and in such a manner that fans of those bands won't dismiss State Cows as copyists, instead they will be welcomed as genuine contributors to the genre.

Blasts of horns and jaunty piano stabs keep things moving along in a sprightly fashion and taking into account the silly band name and album cover, you won't be surprised to find that the music is infused with a kind of carefree approach that makes the likes of "Mystery Jane" and "Lost In A Mind Game" the sort of songs that you can't help smiling along to. The pointed, yet subtle beats drive the grooviest of vibes, leaving no doubt that these songs have been lovingly crafted with "Riding This Highway" adding the pop savvy that the much missed Gerry Rafferty used to do with ease, while "Stella By Barlight" heads off into a more jazzy direction - although in an easily accessible way. Respected Grammy winning songwriter Jay Graydon shows up to add a blistering solo to "New York Town", which would have been a sure fire hit a few decades back, although Andersson, who handles guitar and vocals and Olofsson who brings keyboard and bass to the party are never overshadowed. The playing and song structures are of the highest standard and musically the album is spot on, but it is Andersson's vocal performance that adds the clarity and charm that West Coast music really needs to succeed. A trait this album has that in bucket loads.

If you are looking for one album to be a breezy, chilled out companion to your summer relaxations, then may I offer you State Cows, who are guaranteed to make you nod knowingly, fix your mood and slap a smile on your face. Not sure I'd let them drive your car though....

Track Listing
1. I've Changed
2. New York Town
3. Come To The Point
4. Stella By The Barlight
5. Mystery Jane
6. Painting A Picture
7. Tunisian Nights
8. Looney Gunman
9. Riding This Highway
10. No Man's Land
11. Lost In A Mind Game

Added: June 19th 2011
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: State Cows
Hits: 2619
Language: english

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