Album Reviews

State Cows – State Cows

Released by: Avenue of Allies Records

Released on June 18th, 2010

Genre: Westcoast AOR

Links: http://www.myspace.com/statecows

Links: http://www.statecows.com

Line Up:

Daniel Andersson : vocals, guitars

Stefan Olofsson : keyboards, bass

Additional musicians : Jay Graydon : guitar solo (2)

Peter Holmqvist : guitar solo (3)

Mikael Sandström : guitar solo (4)

Petri Kivimäki : sax solo (8)

Göran Turborn : guitar solo (11)

Guitars : Fredrik Lundgren

Drums : Peter Olofsson, Peter Fredlander

Bass : Stefan “Kilju” Lindblom

Percussion : Mikael Emsing

Horns : Pär Wretling, Olle Lindgren, Markus Asplund

Backing vocals : Marcuz Granberg, Christian Thomsen

Tracklist

1. I’ve Changed

2. New York Town

3. Come To The Point

4. Stella By The Barlight

5. Mystery Jane

6. Painting A Picture

7. Tunisian Nights

8. Looney Gunman

9. Riding This Highway

10. No Man’s Land – Instrumental

11. Lost In A Mind Game

Avenue Of Allies has been one of the few labels out there delivering instant melodic retro West Coast AOR sounds for a while now and the consistency of the label to find these hidden talents in other parts of the world outside of the West Coast here in the  USA where these smooth sounds and catchy melodies we’re made so famous some 30 years ago. Once more we have State Cows head by Daniel Andersson and collaborator Stefan Olofsson both from Sweden. Not necessarily the most popular style in the Melodic Rock world, but always finding something in the material to keep the listener laid back and just plain enjoying good soulful musicianship.

You have to appreciate that this style of music still around and performed very well by skilled musicians and playing melodies to the likes of classic Westcoast sound of Pages, Steely Dan and Airplay. Tracks like “New York Town” are perfect gateway for a hot summer day riding along the surf side ocean front of the pacific coast line and with the help of Westcoast legend Jay Graydon as guest guitarist, the level of musicianship raises the bar even more. Just listen to the classic tune of “Come To The Point” and you will find a hidden treasure of perfect chorus punch lines that even the likes of Toto would be proud of. As intricate as the prototypical westcoast sound is, the trumpet and saxophones along with key arrangements play as equal role in the music.

The musicians that were chosen to record the tracks are hand picked artists from the Swedish and Finnish music scene having played on an international level before. The professionalism of the duo of Daniel Andersson and Stefan Olofsson, the brains behind the State Cows displays the true homage and expertise that some of these international renown musicians have for the genre and the immense impact that has influenced and crossed oceans no less. As far as production wise goes, the sound is as sharp and vibrant as could be expected and a notable record to note as one of the best in it’s category this year. It is highly recommended if you have dug your noses in the westcoast style before as you are bound to reminisce on a vintage style that is kicking alive and well in the likeliest of places.

Written by Denys

Ratings Denys 8/10




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