April 16, 2024

Cowtown – “Paranormal Romance”; a heady rush to trio-heaven



Woo-hoo, hear the manic drumming rush and niggling, needling guitar.

Leeds’ long-time local heroes, support act to the stars, have pumped out a fourth album and it is a total rush – a dozen songs in half an hour. Everything is pumped and hurtling, nothing is extraneous. Even the few guitar solos are perfect miniatures; Not Sure clocks in at 84 seconds but has verses, choruses and a tiny guitar solo. Castleman has a teeny solo too – it’s a speedy, manic song about, er, Castlemen, who do what they please. Like a lot of what’s on offer here, the melody is great, with a nifty descending line in the chorus. Clock In has frantic drums and describes the foot-dragging yet frantic journey to work; perhaps the listener needs Motivational Speaker – full of handy tips.

Stand-out amongst highlights is Tweak, which has a great video by Molly Kaplan. It’s about rushing hyperactively all night – on energy drinks? Then there’s the closer, Emojicore – the chorus goes “Woo-oh-woah” and the guitar chugs, races, rips and stings. Elsewhere, Closed Circuit pounds and twiddles for nearly three minutes, as “we write the story for you”. Castle Greyscale is practically a concept album at two and a half minutes, yet doesn’t overstay its thrill. This is sharp and deceptively simple in its tight arrangements.

Cowtown are a three-piece and don’t believe in playing slow, in being boring or wasting a moment. Like their live shows, this takes a deep breath and rattles through a complete headrush of indie pop thrills, discarding ideas that would sustain a lesser band over four times as long.

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