Friday, May 24, 2013
State Cows - The Second One
First up is “This Time”, a mid-tempo tune about getting another chance to succeed. Michael Landau has the featured guitar solo.
“In the City”, with a guitar solo from Jay Graydon, has an up-beat urban beat to it. Per Bejstam gives it a powerful push with his horns (trumpet and flugelhorn) as well.
“Mister White” is a funky groove about a man who struggles to endure the daily grind and turns to other sources to cope. The beautiful flugelhorn solo on the bridge is performed by Pär Wretling, followed by the searing guitar solo of Peter Friestedt.
“Hard Goodbye”, with a guitar solo from Sven Larsson, focuses on a difficult end to a relationship. The opening has a surreal, almost progressive rock sound to it.
“Scofflaws” (which refers to a contemptuous law violator) has a light, 70‘s dance sound, to which Peter Holmqvist adds with his guitar.
Ian Bairnson joins the band on guitar for “I Got Myself Together”, an up-tempo number about someone who has changed their lifestyle for the better.
“Finally Fair and Balanced” opens with a fantastic bass riff by Lars-Erik Dahle that ripples through out the track.
The confident and optimistic “Center of the Sun” is next. Göran Turborn has his first of two guitar solos here. I also like the synthesizer solo that Stefan lays down on this track.
Turborn and Wretling both return on the next track. “California Gold” opens with a pensive piano solo too.
The album closes with “Nineteen Eighty One”, a song that reminisces about one of those years that are near and dear to this music blogger’s heart. I like how the lyrics are peppered with pop culture references from that time. The featured soloist, on EWI (an electric wind instrument), is Samuel Muntlin.
Back in 2011, I did a review of their self-titled debut album State Cows (click here for that one) from 2010. I was very pleased to hear from Stefan again recently and have the opportunity to preview this latest release.
I am most definitely a big supporter of State Cows. The music on their albums has a fantastic late 70’s/early 80’s California pop rock sound to it. Anyone who is a fan of groups like Steely Dan or the Doobie Brothers will definitely enjoy this group too. It is so nice to hear new music with strong melodies, tight musicianship, pleasant lyrics and sweet vocal harmonies. You just do not find that on most radio stations today. In the past week, I have listened to The Second One through four times already; it has instantly become a new favorite.
State Cows can be found on various places on the Internet. There is their official webpage (click here) where you can sample some of the tracks from The Second One as well as their debut. That site also has a place where you can order their CDs, T-shirts, and early recordings as well.
They are also on Facebook and MySpace under statecows and on Twitter @statecows. You can also listen to both albums over on Spotify (to check them out before adding them to your music library).