20 Sep 2021

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Mad Cow - Single Review: Alone

15 May 2021 // A review by Kev Rowland

Mad Cow are a Taranaki band who formed way back in the 1990’s and have been going one way or another ever since, releasing their debut EP in 2000 and following it up just 10 years later with the next one. Then in 2013 guitarist Joe Smither returned to Aotearoa after living for a while in Melbourne and made contact again with original singer Jon Churchill (who also provides bass) which resulted in the third EP, Disturbing The Peace. Between 2016 and 2018 they recorded material for their self-titled debut album, which came out in 2019, and earlier this year they re-released Anzac Day from that album as a single.

Now they are finally back with a new recording, with the line-up completed by drummer Greg Allen, and very fresh and interesting it is too. This is alternative rock which has also been heavily influenced by the likes of classic Blur. The rhythm section is tight, providing a platform for multiple guitars, which then vie for dominance against the vocals. The most immediate takeaway is the heavy use of slide guitar, a style which is rarely used in this style of music, but it cuts through the jangle of the instruments in a very effective manner indeed, with loads of sustain. I can only presume that when they gig, they either have additional musicians join them or they use backing tracks as it is the layering of additional guitars which really allows this to cut through. The single has been arranged so that the levels for the slide and vocals are very similar and they battle with each other in a very enjoyable way through the piece.

The pace of Alone is much more restrained that one would expect for this style of music, far more considered, and it is this which often makes one think of 80’s independent artists such as The Smiths. The use of double tracking of Jon’s vocals is also highly effective, and one also comes away impressed with the production, and it was somewhat surprising to realise this was recorded and mixed by the band themselves at their home studio Pigpen Studios before being mastered by Mike at Manuka Studios Auckland. Mad Cow may not have been the most prolific band in their existence, but on the basis of this I certainly look forward to hearing more from them in the future.

Rating: ( 3 / 5 )

About Mad Cow

Formed in Taranaki in the mid 90's, Mad Cow has been producing original Indie-Rock music for over 20 years.

Having come full circle with the return of their original singer in 2012 the band released a 3rd EP entitled Disturbing the Peace in 2015 and a full length self titled album in 2019 .

Alone is the latest single released by Mad Cow, released in 2021.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Mad Cow


Mad Cow
Year: 2019
Type: Album
Disturbing the Peace
Year: 2015
Type: EP
Take a Breath
Year: 2010
Type: EP
Year: 1999
Type: EP

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