Yankee Cowboy Yankee Cowboy cassette

YANKEE COWBOY openly call themselves “Calgary’s answer to the ALPACA BROTHERS,” and if that incredibly niche reference means anything to you (it certainly commanded my full attention), you probably don’t need me to convince you to jump on this one. Five originals and a cover of RUDIMENTARY PENI’s “1/4 Dead”(!!), all infused with the dark-edged, ragged tension of various mid-’80s NZ bands who leaned less purely pop (the ALPACA BROTHERS, true to form, but also SCORCHED EARTH POLICY, the MAX BLOCK, the TERMINALS, etc.), with tape-warbled echoes of TIMES NEW VIKING’s 21st century revival of much of the same source material serving as another vital link in the chain. The hopscotching bass line of “Me and Pinocchio” carries the song’s melody like the CLEAN smudged with post-punk fingerprints, the sweetly off-kilter dual/dueling vocals of “Critters” gradually dissolve into a storm of gnarled, BAILTER SPACE-worthy feedback, and the blown-out jangle of “Not a Whole” is textbook Flying Nun, just spiritually relocated to the plains of the Canadian Prairies—full-force faux-Kiwi.