Playbill

In a time of eyelinered glam-punk throwbacks like the Black Halos and the no-budget, Detroit garage rock, dance-beat mayhem of the White Stripes, the Blood Drained Cows are a perfect antidote to pretension and self-conscious anachronism.

The rambunctious three-piece is led by Gregg Turner, formerly of the Angry Samoans. Their still-beloved albums, Back from Samoa (1982) all the way through STP Not LSD (1987), forged a link between fuzz-laden '60s psychedelic pioneers like mad Texan Roky Erickson's 13th Floor Elevators and the borderline punk R&B of the Sonics with the frenzied and more alarming early L.A. punk of the Weirdoes and the Bags. Songs like "They Saved Hitler's Cock" and "Get Off the Air" -- an acrid rant against the king of California alternative radio, Rodney Bingenheimer -- might seem a bit quaint today compared to the overblown antics of Marilyn Manson and Slipknot, but in the Reagan era they were terrifically controversial and irresistible.

Age hasn't exactly mellowed Turner along the lines of Jonathan Richman, though Turner flirted with singer-songwriting a few years back in his folk-rockin' band the Mistaken. According to Turner, the Blood Drained Cows "don't blast your eardrums out." Instead they reroute the sonic paths of "'60s Kinks and Shadows of Knight" without getting stuck in schlock and a lagging sense of atrophy.

Not surprisingly, Turner feels that FM radio today is not much removed from the Peter Frampton and Eagles salad days of 1978. So he's risking it all to play three dates in Texas with autoharp player and Roky cohort Bill Miller in support of the Cows' new self-titled record. Do yourself a favor: Drop your lame plans, throw out your new-school punk CDs, and join the bloodless bovine insurrection.

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David Ensminger