Cowboy Surfer - 'Surf Saloon'
Seedless Records

By Ben Ohmart [03-11-1999]

Artist: Cowboy Surfer
Title: Surf Saloon
Label: Seedless Records

I like the artwork. The thick, finger-paint kind that reminds of Van Gough . I like the straining guitar which kicks in without a second thought. I'm not wild about the vocals. But it's probably the way they're recorded. I don't know if this is a live or studio recording. My 1 clue is that this was 'recorded in "The Womb" in 1996-97'. Whatever that means. The music is quite clear. So I think, maybe a studio. But I'm not sure What's going on with these vocals. It's sort of echo, stepping in and out of the mic, overdubbed or??

"Nazi's in Chile" could be a beautiful tune if I wasn't so scared by the vocals. I can't hear the lyrics very well either. As I say, I could make allowances for this perhaps if I knew if this were a live recording or not. But I have my doubts. Maybe I should just forget the vocals, forget whether it's live or not, and review 2 different ways. Live. And studio.

Okay, Stu Shulman and Dave Haddad seem to be responsible for all sounds on the album. Pretty good guitar work, thickly encrusted with details for being a 2 man thing. "Rogue's Dawn" shows off their Neil Youngish side nicely with an epic-like quality. I mean, I could REally go for this band if I could just hear the - no. No, I won't go there again.

This is an album I have to say - go out and hear for yourself. The 9 minute "Trails End" is a good track to start with. It's slow rock with a right-out-of-the-bottle edge that makes you feel like maybe you're being stalked. It's a good feeling, if you drink a lot of coffee. Think of Metallica playing Robinson Crusoe's island. And think of Friday going mad. I think he would.

Read an interview with Stu Shulman of Cowboy Surfer


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