Friday, May 24, 2013

State Cows - The Second One

Today (May 24th) is the release date of The Second One, the aptly titled second studio album from the Swedish band State Cows. At the core of the group is a duo made up of Daniel Andersson (vocals and guitar) and Stefan Olofsson (keyboards and synth bass). Joining the guys on this record are Peter Olofsson (drums), Mikael Emsing (percussion), Christian Thomsen (backing vocals), Bill Champlin (backing vocals), and Marcuz Granberg (backing vocals). There are also a number of guest musicians, which I will note as they appear through out the album.

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).


HERC said...

Moo-chos grassy-as for alerting us to the release of the State Cows sophomore album. Now that I've herd it, it's definitely going in my Summer album rotation as well as my Walking playlist for when I'm out hoofing it.

And the fact that both of the group's albums are on Spotify (links below) just made it so much easier to share their moo-sic with friends. And that's no bull.

State Cows

The Second One

When the steaks are this high, maybe I shouldn't have milked the cow puns so much - they are udder-ly ridiculous.

Thanks for not gonging me, Martin.

HERC said...

I should probably lay off the calffine.

Martin Maenza said...

Billy, I love a good pun as much as anybody. But… Ouch. ;)