In Sickness And In Health: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Pt. 102

The Cowboy - The Cowboy - Drunken Sailor Records - 3 songs - 7", digital

The Cowboy's debut LP was three years ago, as jarring as that is. This is the long-awaited follow-up EP. Side A has two pretty good post-punk leaning punk songs, the vaguely threatening sounding "The Swimmer" and "Mr. Lamppost," which was kind of reminding me of a more aggressive version of Institute or one of those kindsa bands. I probably said something to this effect three years ago, but The Cowboy, for obvious reasons, sounds like a cleaner, more straightforward Homostupids (if the reasons aren't obvious, it's because it's 2/3 the same band). The flip side here is a different kind of thing. "Way Out" is a far more mellow, almost jammy song. It's definitely more laid back than usual for the band, and kind of just meanders its way through itself, but in a weird way, it's enjoyable. The comedown after the first side, perhaps. A strong EP here. 4/5

(drunkensailorrecords.co.uk)

Stinky Monkey Finger - The Earring - DF Records - 15 songs - digital

This might be the best SMF release so far. Every time I review them, I say something like the nearest comparison is Guided By Voices or rather some more out-there Bob Pollard lo-fi project, but I say it with the caveat that it isn't quite accurate. This time it's very accurate: this sounds very much like something out of the Rockathon camp. And actually, it's the better for it, as there are a good few solid songs on here evenly distributed with the weirder material. That's not to say, however, that they just sound like GBV now; they most certainly still have their own identity. There really is a good mix here of the "song" songs ("Call Me Up," "I've Been Drinking" (another Pollard connection), "Slow Burn," to just name three) and the more, perhaps, difficult material (the drum machine free jazz of "Blasting The Boom," the rather aptly titled "Skate World," which sounds ominous enough that perhaps it should've been "Skate Dystopia," and "Bad Ink," which is a melee of instruments that sounds like it's almost gonna fall apart at any second, but never quite does). Probably the best place to start with this band/project/guy (I'm still not quite sure) if you're intrigued. 3.7/5

(dennisbaker.bandcamp.com)

Are you a local-ish band? Do you have a record out? Email vaguelythreatening@gmail.com

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Volume 16, Issue 7, Posted 3:06 PM, 03.19.2020