Two Cow Garage is exactly the sort of pun-ish band name that one might expect to emanate from the farm country of Ohio, which is where they are from. Other pop-culture writers bag them as an alt-country unit, but I think the band is far too loud and aggro to sit for very long in that description. Micah Schnabel, Shane Sweeny, and David Murphy have revisited the sounds of Mick Taylor–era Stones, minus the pomp, and instead have fashioned a hard roots-rock sound that comes straight from the heartland. The songwriting is like chapters taken from the best of the American rock-and-roll songbook. You could rethink each chord and every note choice ten times over and still not come up with anything better.
TCG songs are complete, lack for nothing, and are delivered with every ounce of juju the band has to offer. More than one critic has used words such as barbed wire or broken glass, whiskey, or smoke to describe the gravel of Schnabel’s voice. Me? I hear a singer that doesn’t care much whether he has a voice later in life.
Here’s the deal: Two Cow Garage started a little over a decade ago and released Please Turn the Gas Back On, their first of five full-length albums to date. After, they began a tour schedule that could be described as relentless in hopes of unloading merch and rounding up a fan base. They did — albeit a small one. As of this writing, we’re talking just over 3500 “likes” on Facebook, which is respectable but still points to the band’s being underrated. Could they have done anything better? I don’t think so. But fickle mistress that music-industry success may be, I don’t think Two Cow Garage will remain in the pure-dynamite-but-tragically-overlooked category for much longer.
The Copyrights also perform.
Two Cow Garage: Soda Bar, Sunday, November 4, 8:30 p.m., 619-255-7224, $8.