There is NO doubt about it: Sweden is the ruling country when it comes to real westcoast rock, these days. We've seen PETER FRIESTEDT, SMOOTH REUNION, ANDREAS ALEMAN and STEFAN GUNNARSSON with great albums over the past few years - and now it's time for the coolest release so far: STATE COWS. Now, you know how some sellers at Ebay claim that the stuff they're selling sounds like MAXUS and NIELSEN/PEARSON? I've seen horrific examples about Roland Utbult or similar artists being compared to MAXUS, and it's totally wrong.
Well, STATE COWS is the first group to actually sound like the great westcoast bands from the early 80's. And I mean it! The self-titled debut album starts out with "I've Changed", which has the exact same beat as "They danced" from the MAXUS album. Sure, there are some grooves and chords pretty darn close to the original song, but they get away with it. Man, this kind of music hasn't been heard in almost 3 decades. And the sound! It really sounds like those warm Fender and Moog sounds that guys like me grew up with.
STATE COWS is a duo, consisting of Stefan Olofsson and Daniel Andersson from Umeå in the north of Sweden. Daniel is known among true collectors as one half of the duo DP, who released a mini-CD with really nice westcoast music. Then he also released an equally essential solo CD through Zink Records. The guys are backed up by great players from Sweden and Finland, and the result is nothing short of a success. Especially the horn section deserves to be mentioned - the arrangements and the playing is top notch on every tone. Just hear their efforts in "Mystery Jane", where my thoughts drift off to the magnificent "Outside inside the Tubes" by THE TUBES - weird horns, and yet so right. "Looney gunman" is something for all you lovers of BILL LA BOUNTY and AIRPLAY, being a shuffle that really has your feet going. Naturally, you'll find one or two tracks with lots of later STEELY DAN vibes - now, it wouldn't be complete if this wasn't found! "Tunisian nights" and "Lost in a mind game" will prove what I'm saying. Finally I'd like to mention the awesome song "Painting a picture". It has a verse that could have been penned by RICHARD PAGE or KEVIN GILBERT, followed by a spicy L.A. COWBOYS chorus! I could go on forever about this splendid CD, since it is the album of the year so far. All you have to do now is go buy it. MAGNIFICENT!