STATE COWS – State Cows (2010)
OK, this is a melodic rock / AOR site, but this Westcoast – AOR gem deserved to be here.
Sweden might not be the biggest producer of westcoast-music in the world, but there has been some very fine records, most notably Peter Friestedt, Smooth Reunion or Stefan Gunnarsson.
State Cows joins this gang with a very fine release, a really old school Westcoast at its best, sounding like the great bands from the early 80’s.
The group is made up of just 2 members, Stefan Olofsson and Daniel Andersson, the latter released a very good record a couple of years ago called ‘Days in L.A.’
They have played some years together in their hometown of Umeå and also been in Los Angeles together were they have met the crop of the westcoast-elite.
The record itself must be dubbed “the Swedish answer to AIRPLAY”.
No fillers in sight here.
The initial ‘I’ve changed’ is a delicious way start the disc, extremely melodic with a very catchy chorus. Stefan Olofsson takes fully into this track and delivers many beautiful sounds / harmonies on his keyboards solos.
The extremely slick ‘New York town’ (were Jay Graydon plays the solo), features intricate melodies and a strong wind section.
‘Stella by the barlight’ is one of the many gems on this album, with a rather distinctive slap bass and brilliant keyboards.
‘Mystery Jane’ has a CHICAGO vibe, ‘Tunisian Nights’ shows off a wide range of musical variation, with AIRPLAY influences presented in a rather clear way.
‘Lost in a mind game’ is STEELY DAN – style tune. This song just contains everything that a really serious westcoast wants.
This record outclasses everything that has come in the genre the latest years.
Beautiful and melodic arrangements, very catchy choruses, top class instrumentation, and a production that should make Mr. David Foster / Mr. Jay Graydon more than willing to cooperate with the gentlemen Andersson / Olofsson in the future.
If you like AIRPLAY, PAGES, MAXUS, PETER BECKETT, CHICAGO, L.A. COWBOYS, lots of vintage Fender Rhodes and Moog keyboards, or simply just good music, don’t miss this one.
It will be a classic.
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
All songs written and produced
by Stefan Olofsson and Daniel Andersson
Daniel Andersson: vocals, guitar
Stefan Olofsson: keyboards, vocals
Fredrik Lundgren: Guitars
Peter Olofsson: Drums
Peter Fredlander: Drums
Stefan ”Kilju” Lindholm: Bass
Mikael Emsing: Percussion
Pär Wretling, Olle Lindberg, Markus Asplund: Horns
Marcuz Granberg: Backing vocals
Christian Thomsen: Backing vocals
Jay Graydon: Guitar solo (New York town)
Peter Holmqvist: Guitar solo (Come to the point)
Mikael Sandström: Guitar solo (Stella by the barlight)
Petri Kivimäki: Sax solo (Looney gunman)
Göran Turborn: Guitar solo (Lost in a mind game)