Two Cow Garage

The heirs to the Replacements are hip-deep — Lucero, Drive-By Truckers, and Bottle Rockets leading the heap — but that shouldn't dissuade you from parking your ass in front of Two Cow Garage. The Columbus, Ohio, trio is just a step behind that illustrious company, led by frontman Micah Schnabel's hoarse baritone, reminiscent of Lucero's Ben Nichols. The band turned heads with its second album, 2004's The Wall Against Our Back, and maintain momentum with the recently released follow-up, III. From the shoulda/coulda lament for a lost love and life, "Should've California," to the loping, country-garage ode "The Great Gravitron Massacre," they've got a terrific knack for turning tragedy into exultant anthems of resilience and forbearance. The album closes with the nomadic rager, "Postcards and Apologies," which alternates a country waltz with spates of spiky, swelling guitar reminiscent of old Soul Asylum, as Schnabel confesses "somewhere on this highway everything got blurred."


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