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The Cogburns

Release Date:
  early 2004  
Reviewed by:
  Indoor Miner  

Hard day at work, sir? Or maybe you've had enough of those introverted moments and need a little pick-me-up? Either way, follow me. I've got just the thing, because Bob, the debut release by Atlanta's The Cogburns, is just the thing to get those feet tapping and that mouth moving in an upward curl. There mightn't be any mentions of Daddy's and T-Bird's, but this seven track EP is, to quote the ancient Beach Boys hit, definitely "Fun Fun Fun".

First up is Strange, which, courtesy of a thumping beat and crunching guitars, has a similar feel to Iggy's last album, Skull Ring. It's a great opener. And with its tasty riffs and a deliciously moronic "la la la la" bit, this is a chant-along-fave after just a couple of listens. Southern Daisy follows. Far from being the country ballad the title might suggest, it's actually reminiscent of the thin tie brigade of '78, who took the energy of British punk and tied it to a more tuneful approach. Southern Daisy is melodically strong and has a similar feel to, say, Drummer Man by UK power-poppers, and one hit wonders, Tonight.

Next up is Band Bus, another track that brings to mind a certain Mr. Osterberg, with a TV Eye-like riff and drawled delivery, except we also get a chorus with some great sneery Beatle-ish 'yeahs' thrown in for free. You can almost feel the sarcasm! Come the next track and you can definitely hear the sound of Christmas '72, because Over You is a two chord glam fest. In fact, it borrows so heavily from the classic Jean Genie riff that I was caught climbing out of the attic, dusting down a pair of seen-better-days platform shoes. Still, with its added REM-like chorus and Beatle-ish harmonies, this is no idle glitter stomp. There's real evidence that The Cogburns understand their songwriting craft, too. All in all, a cracking little track. I just hope the lightning strikes wash off my face.

Pussy Whipped follows and is another track that features a Stooges-like riff, except this time it's Loose that springs to mind. It also features a neat (and suitably economical!) guitar solo and the type of tub-thumping sound that The Hives have been using to such good effect of late.

Skaterz Waltz is a quickfire instrumental that reminds me of New York surfers Hieronymus Bosch and, with its Scabies-like drumming and prominent bass riff, appears to demonstrate that The Cogburns are yet another new American band who sound like they've been listening to the early Damned. Bob closes with Understand, which has a rockabilly feel and vocals that sound not unlike early Johnny Cash. And with a strong "Come on baby, understand" chorus, it rounds things off in fine style.

Bob isn't going to change your world, but it will perk you up and make it seem like a better place while it's playing. I was going to conclude by saying that, after a hard day at work, this shouldn't be sneered at. But, as the EP is only 15 minutes long, it could well prove short enough to listen to on your coffee break. Go on, take a break. I'm sure you deserve it.

Related Links:

The Cogburns live. -- their website, from which you can order a copy of this EP.


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