Two Cow Garage - Speaking in Cursive (Cover Artwork)

Two Cow Garage

Two Cow Garage: Speaking in CursiveSpeaking in Cursive (2008)
Suburban Home Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

Contributed by: mikexdudemikexdude
(others by this writer | submit your own)

I asked my 10th grade English teacher once for advice on writing, and she replied with the "write about what you know" cliché. Ah, and success it was; I walked away a different person with this newfound knowledge and planned on applying it to future written efforts. Later the other night, after imm.
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I asked my 10th grade English teacher once for advice on writing, and she replied with the "write about what you know" cliché. Ah, and success it was; I walked away a different person with this newfound knowledge and planned on applying it to future written efforts. Later the other night, after immensely enjoying Two Cow Garage's Speaking in Cursive, I thought to myself: "Come on, Mike, you're punx; why listen to anyone?" So here I am writing about a subgenre of punk I have very little knowledge about and the chances of making an ass of myself are pretty high. As long as I have an opinion, it should make me somewhat qualified...I think.

Two Cow Garage plays, what I consider, whiskey-soaked punk and alternative country, and have been compared by others to Lucero and the Drive by Truckers. With Speaking in Cursive, the band shows dynamics ranging from loud, dirty overdrive to soft, palm-muted acoustic guitars and use it as a backdrop to raspy, sorrow-filled vocals.

As the bass line and pedal tone of the guitar on "Your Humble Narrator" ascends its way over steady rimshots, Micah Schnabel recalls "waking up to cassette tapes and ashtrays filled up from the night before," showing the use of country music's storytelling calling card. The quiet track builds with louder piano-accentuated chords and eventually harder snare hits until Schnabel's voice reaches a painfully grinding sound. Track 3, "Folksinger's Heart" is instrumentally one of the best tracks on the album; after a short organ solo, a bluesy, southern-tinged guitar lead bends its way into an acoustic re-visitation to the chorus. However, I'm a little hesitant to say that it's the "best" since the harmonicas, organs and keyboards layer almost all of their songs perfectly. "Glass City," whose vocals are provided by the band's other vocalist (who sounds a lot like a bassier Chuck Ragan), is more on the punkier side with heavy tom hits leading to a palm-muted post-chorus. Damn is "being afraid of living is just the same as dying" a cute line!

Unfortunately, after a long grouping of slower, somber songs, I almost wanted the closer to end with a rockin' bang. Instead, in the same fashion as the first song, "Swallowed by the Sea" is another slow song, but even shorter. With the exception of that, and the fact that "Funeral Drag" and "Brass Ring" sound very similar, I can't find much wrong with this record at all. It's a seemingly underrated record of heartbreak that I will, without hesitation, throw on when I am feeling down.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Leatherfacefan (January 20, 2011)

This is an amazing album. The first Two Cow album I ever heard, and in my opinion the best, with Sweet Saint Me a very close second.

SkolarX (November 5, 2010)

just started checking out this album after hearing sweet saint me and the songs are blowing me away. however to contridict the review, the other singer reminds me of Brenden Kelly if anyone. i don't hear Chuck's voice in there at all

suburbanhome (November 14, 2008)

thanks everyone for the positive comments, the great review, and for all of you that took the time to see them at the Fest. I feel really lucky to be able to work with these guys. And those of you who have yet to see them live, oh man, they will rock your socks off.

I might add that this newest album is less country and more rock than anything they have ever done. It is just a great album.

wallofyouth (November 14, 2008)

slobberbone? i hardly knew her

wallofyouth (November 14, 2008)

lol slobberbone

mikexdude (November 13, 2008)

Trend? Ha.

wallrock (November 13, 2008)

I wouldn't call it a "recent" trend (alt country was the supposed New Thing in the 90's) but I'm happy that Suburban Home adopted Two Cow Garage. I've been a fan of theirs since seeing them open for Slobberbone a few years back. Their last album was one of my favorites of 2007 and I was excited for this to come out. I wasn't sold on the download tracks from SH and after the first spin I thought "good but not great." It turns out I needed to have a few drinks and listen to it to properly get into it, and now this is album is one of my favorites for 2008.

xote (November 13, 2008)

Whats with this sudden trend of alt-country "punk" bands. Is it cool for indie kids to like country now?

I don't mind it, it's not my thing but whatever... I just find it odd allthese bands are comming out and getting popular now. Oh trends.

mikexdude (November 13, 2008)

Thank you for all the compliments, guys, it means a lot!

But yeah, record rules.

almostpunkenough (November 13, 2008)

great review.

not my cup of tea, but i found parts of a few different songs really enjoyable.

BarleyPat (November 12, 2008)

I've been listening to the stream of this, great album. I need to pick it up when I have some cash.

oskorei (November 11, 2008)

another good Suburban Home release. Stellar roster they have now. good review and thank you for attempting to give a description of what the band sounds like, instead of just ex members of ... info.

blanktapesemptybottles (November 11, 2008)

They were def one of the best sets at Fest, I can't wait to hear this all their other albums are great, but they are that much better live

baseball (November 11, 2008)

I'll have to grab this off Emusic tonight. Also saw them at the Fest and they rocked pretty hard. Them followed by Drag The River was an excellent way to end out the night.

ashtraymonument (November 11, 2008)

super awesome

preston (November 11, 2008)

I dig this record, but it bothers me that the second singer tries to rip off Tom Waits. Check out "Who Are You This Time?" and "Downtown Train" if you don't believe me. Other than that though, I must say its awesome. Saw them at the Fest and I can now saw their recordings don't do them justice. They were one of the best acts I saw that weekend.

mpc (November 11, 2008)

This is a very good album and a well-written review.

Dante3000 (November 11, 2008)

Damn I just turned in a review for this yesterday. Looks like I'm too late. At least this review is really good.

bryne (November 11, 2008)

Awesome record. Good review, Mikey.

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