I remember hearing reviews of Cowboys International back in the day, but I never actually bought any of their music until sometime in the 90s, when I happened across their debut album, The Original Sin, in a US Virgin Atlantic pressing. The band featured several players who would go on to make big names for themselves in the New Wave movement. Keith Levene [P.I.L.] and Marco Pirroni [Adam & The Ants] figured on guitars and Terry Chimes [The Clash] was drumming for them, but really, But that sat in the “slush pile” for many years, until I came across the CD compilation “Revisited,” which vocalist Ken Lockie issued himself several years back. When I popped the disc in the dash I was rewarded with a delightfully tuneful and varied selection of prime New Wave material ca. 1979 that offered all of the promise of the post-punk era with nary a hint of the decadent complacence that brought it all crashing down by the mid-eighties.
Today’s song is a perky little single that proffers a selection of pulsating electropop as performed by a group that is not pursuing that goal as some sort of attempt at being the “English Kraftwerk.” Instead, Cowboys International were content to use whatever styles necessary to achieve their goals without being hidebound about any of them. “Thrash” sounds like it could sit on the same shelf as OMD’s “Electricity” without breaking into a sweat. In other words, I should have been a huge fan of this group in 1979! Ken Lockie’s well mannered vocals do suggest worship at the House Of Bowie, as the liner notes state. But has Bowie ever sounded this cheerful? Be that as it may, the track sounds like one that might have made the cut on “Low” had it instead been crafted with the morose core that Dame David gave all of his songs of that period.
Cowboys International: Thrash UK 7″
- Many Times [Revised]