artist: Sacred Cowboys
title: Sacred Cowboys
label: White Label Records
personnel: probably Garry Gray, Mark Ferrie, Terry Doolan, Chris Whelan, Andrew Picouleau, Janis Friedenfelds
tracklisting: nothing grows in texas, pay for it (in the next life), twisted nerve, bangkok, strip cell (for jack abbott), nailed to the cross
back over to Australia this week, for band who's early live performances are perhaps better remembered than the music. Sacred Cowboys' frontman Garry Gray was infamous for taunting audiences at gigs, usually by swinging a running chainsaw above their heads. nice.
the swamp rock of Sacred Cowboys' debut mini-album is actually nowhere near as antagonistic as Gray's stage habits would suggest. the twangy guitars and morose synth textures of the underground hit 'Nothing Grows in Texas', hints strongly at (and pre-dates) Sammystown-era Wall of Voodoo, minus the glam pretentions. the excellent 'Nothing Grows' sets the bar very high indeed, and few of the LP's other tracks can match it. gloomy workouts like 'Twisted Nerve' are remarkabely restrained, with Gray's Americanised vocals only just cutting through. 'Bangkok' on the other hand is much better, upping the tempo for a seriously cool slice of lip-curling rock-noir.
a compelling mix of distant guitars and chunky bass riffs, with dollops of cinematic Western touches, Sacred Cowboys remain a significant group both on the stage and off.
erik - www.cultwithnoname.com