Critical praise and shows at Brixton’s Windmill this early in a band’s career is rare, but new boys on the post-rock scene Cowboyy are making waves before their debut EP, Epic the Movie, has even landed.
Starboys of post and art punk hitmakers Nice Swan Records (English Teacher, Sprints, Opus Kink), Cowboyy are the latest band on the scene to captivate: their mix of 00s indie riffs is blended with jazzy guitar parts and arty, experimental sounds that gives Epic the Move a really unique feel.
Debut single, ‘Gmaps’ is a perfect introduction to the band, their stylings resemble fuzzy indie floor fillers with a distinct edge of Speedy Wunderground bands like Squid or (dare I say it?) black midi. The combo comes together with superb results, and the cut is relentlessly catchy, with the wandering riff firmly embedding itself into the listener’s brain.
‘Tennis’ is another cut with a mazy, jazzy guitar riff, with breakbeat drums and fantastic harmonic backing vocals added to the mix. Quick transitions between modern post-punk style spoken word vocals and melodic, harmonic singing is pulled off in great style by Cowboyy, they have the feel of a band who has been playing together for years honing their sound.
The tone shifts slightly in ‘Algorithmic’ where Cowboyy pokes fun at the bands and fans who take themselves far too seriously. “So many mullets in the room I can barely fucking breathe, and no I’m not a fucking black midi ripoff” is a line so hilariously self-aware that you can’t help but smile; this is a band that confidently know themselves and their audience already. The cut goes harder at bands who are style over substance, and they mock their own EP title with their tongue firmly in the cheek as the track brakes down into a frenzy of guitar and drums. Cowboyy certainly come out swinging here but they pull it off nicely.
The final offering from Epic The Movie is ‘Nothing’, a wonderfully nostalgic track where lyrics take the centre stage before the slow burn blossoms into a glorious wall of sound. The building up of this track is akin to Mogwai, except vocalist, lead guitarist, producer, and songwriter Stanley Powell remains steadfast in his spoken word delivery.
For a debut EP, Epic the Movie takes the listener on quite a journey, and is yet another example of Nice Swan leading the line in innovating the scene. As more traditional ‘post-punk’ bands move into art rock and post rock territories, Nice Swan and Cowboyy are pushing boundaries in the brand new post-post punk wave.
photo credit: Law Hughes