Columbus, OH rockers Two Cow Garage return to the stage at Off Broadway tonight. The boys are stopping by on their yearly trip to SXSW and in support of their 5th release, Sweet Saint Me. If you are not familiar with Two Cow, I highly recommend checking them out as their high energy show is well worth the admission. I hate comparing bands to other bands, but Two Cow's sound could be comparable to that of Slobberbone and Lucero.
Two Cow's sound has consistently progressed over their five released albums. 2008's Speaking In Cursive really showcased the band's ability to keep the high energy rock-n-roll abandon and great lyrics that they have become known for and add in some tighter and a little more pop-influenced arrangements. 2010's Sweet Saint Me further showed how tight the bands performances and songwriting has become. Tracks like "Sally, I've Been Shot," "Sweet Saint Me," and "Wanted To Be" make you think that this is what Springsteen might have sounded like if he were influenced by punk rock. The incredibly catchy chorus of "Lydia" makes the song pure pop-rock gold and an obvious choice for the first single released off of Sweet Saint Me.
One thing that has always made me a fan of Two Cow is how open and honest the lyrics of vocalist-guitarist Micah Schnabel and bassist-vocalist Shane Sweeney are. Whether the songs are about past loves, the hard life of being on the road, or the joys of being in a rock band, the lyrics always come straight from the heart and delivered with passion and sincerity. This passion and sincerity is extremely evident in some of the slower tracks on the record. "Closer To Me" and "Insolent Youth" are perfect examples that Two Cow doesn't need to wow you with the explosiveness they are capable of, but can lay down amazing songs with minimal instrumentation.
While watching Two Cow live, you can tell that Schnabel, Sweeney, keyboardist Andy Schell, and drummer Cody Smith wouldn't want to be anywhere else in the world at that moment in time. Schnabel and Sweeney interact in a way that makes you think they have been lifelong brothers. This admiration and love for one another shows up on the album as well. Schnabel wrote the song "Jackson, Don't You Worry" for Sweeney's son. The line "Jackson don't worry you're a good man's son/But your daddy and me we were born to run." sums up the song perfectly, as the song seems to be an apology for being the son of a touring musician and a source of assurance that everything is still going to be okay. The song is a wonderful testament to the bond that keeps Two Cow going.
So come on to Off Broadway tonight, raise a PBR tallboy in the air, and enjoy some great rock-n-roll. I'll be the idiot trying to get the band to play "Camaro." Doors open at 7, show starts at 7:30. 8$ 21+/11$ 21- Cheap Girls, Laura Stevenson and the Cans, and Men Working in Trees kick the night off.
Here's a video of Micah performing "Jackson, Don't You Worry"...