Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Cowbell - Haunted Heart (2017, Damaged Goods) - A brief overview.
There's rockabilly, there's psychobilly...so why not chill-obilly? Truth be told, London's Cowbell ain't peddling no gimmicky shtick, rather that pearl of said nomenclature is frequently applicable on Haunted Heart. This boy (Jack Sandham) and girl (Wednesday Lyle) duo curtail the "dirty" aesthetic considerably stacked up against say, The Kills, but there's some discernible bite to the jacked-up bop of the vivacious title track, as well as the souped-up Americana kick of "Downlow." In the grand scheme of things, Haunted Heart is hardly a record of extremes, rather Cowbell's pedigree heretofore has placed the emphasis on their garage credentials. With an undercurrent of organ and a spicy guitar solo percolating through "Nothing But Trouble," I'm inclined to play along, but the tunes I've name-dropped thus far strike me as the exception, not the rule. "Neon Blue" and "New Kinda Love," play up the duo's more refined angles, meshed with a telltale appreciation of the blues and '60 psych pop, respectively. Elsewhere they cut the tension off at the knees entirely on the decidedly tamer "Something's Gotta Give" and the sax-laden closer, "No Wrong." Make no mistake though, Cowbell aren't the second coming of the Carpenters...nor the White Stripes (albeit they're angling significantly closer to the latter). Boasting nuanced aptitude and consistency, Haunted Hearts just might have you shouting, "more cowb--" Sorry, I couldn't resist!. Pick up the album May 26 from Damaged Goods Records, Amazon and iTunes.