Alien Cowboys - Alien Cowboys

Year of Release: 1998
Label: self-released
Catalog Number: AC01
Format: CD
Total Time: 34:43:00

You know those classic songs of the 70s from bands like the Allman Brothers? Songs where there's this really cool guitar riff being played at the end of the song (maybe the last 2 or 3 minutes of the piece)? Well, Alien Cowboys start from that point with "Empire Strikes Bach," which opens the album. It is as if you turned on the radio just as that riff was starting. This leads into a different groove with electric instrumental guitar rock, but it keeps returning to that riff. This kind of thing comes back in "Hospitality Suite," too.

Alien Cowboys, the band's 1998 debut, is chock full of cool guitar riffs and phrases. "Make It Better," for example, is a driving piece (with a hint of Deep Purple's "Woman From Tokyo" in the groove), that will make you want to? well, drive. In fact, all the music here is perfect for driving with the top down, zipping along the highways and byways. Maybe because it feels like a humid 80 degrees to me right now, this piece just draws clearly a baking hot summer day out it the middle of the Mohave. The kind of day where it's so hot you can see waves of it coming up from the bleached pavement of the highway.

On most tracks the guitar lines can be searing, while the bass and drums punctuate every note, all given a shimmery gloss by rhythm guitar. "Dear John" is a bit darker, a bit sadder, as the title would imply. And mixing it up, "East West" brings a taut steel string guitar into the mix ? and yes, I did think of Mr. Chaquico. Being San Francisco Bay Area based, they are neighbors of Chaquico's, so maybe it's something in the water.

By the way, in a neat bit of synergy, their most recent album, Lift was released just last month. I say synergy because I've had this (and Analogtherapy) awaiting review since Fossil Records sent them to me [cough] ? ahem? last [mumble].

Alien Cowboys is rollicking good ride, where there's never a bum track, which is rare these days in rock. It's not a case where there are a few interesting tracks and the rest is filler. No sirree. Any one of these could be the lead off track ? i.e. single to sell the release. It's that good. All brought to you by the quartet of Ralph Perucci on lead guitar, Bruce Stevenson on rhythm guitar, Greg Jones on bass and Ian Thomson on drums.

Empire Strikes Bach (3:00) / Make It Better (3:22) / Last Phoenician (4:04) / East West (3:48) / Back Porch (3:07) / Dear John (4:40) / Prarie Dogs Lament (3:59) / Unstung (5:39)

Ralph Perucci - lead guitar
Bruce Stevenson - rhythm guitar
Greg Jones - bass
Ian Thomson - drums

Alien Cowboys (1998)
Analogtherapy (2000)
2002: Other Space (2002)
Lift (2003)
Zero Gravity (2007)
Words (2008)

Genre: Rock

Origin US

Added: August 17th 2003
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website:
Hits: 1046
Language: english


[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]