Friday, October 14, 2016

Album Review: 'Brand New Flag' by Two Cow Garage

Title:  Brand New Flag (Last Chance Records)
Artists:  Two Cow Garage (Official, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, BandCamp, Big Cartel, Wikipedia)

Two Cow Garage's seventh album Brand New Flag is a tour de force and a testament to the power and possibility of rock 'n' roll.  The 12 song record is personal and poignant, angry yet hopeful, existential and insightful, driven and thoughtful, purposeful and powerful.  This album grabs you by the heart and smashes your soul with songs that should be seen as psalms that will lead you to salvation.  People often talk about how rock 'n' roll can save souls, tell stories about how specific records or songs saved their lives; make no mistake, Brand New Flag is one of those records.  This is a battle-cry for the disenfranchised, disaffected, and those that feel like they have no voice.  Two Cow Garage have always written powerful songs filled with social commentary but this time around there is a newfound urgency to the music, lyrics, and performance.  The record opens and closes with sparse and haunting ballads ("Movies" and "Stars") and in-between is filled with rockers ("Terror Ride"), rousing anthems (the title track, "History Now!," and "Let the Boys Be Girls"), a tango ("Shakespeare & Walk Disney"), and a spoken-word track ("I Promise") resulting in an album that is far more than just a collection of great songs.  For those that pray on the alters of greats like Springsteen and Westerberg, find solace in modern prophets like John Moreland and Beach Slang, appreciate troubadours like Frank Turner and Dave Hause, or rock out to the likes of Lucero, Dramarama, and Nothington, then Two Cow Garage is the band for your and Brand New Flag is your scripture.

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