After a duo of releases with his new outsider pop project Good Looking Son, Keith Harman returns with his quirky protopunk band The Cowboys. Sultan of Squat is the fifth full-length by the Bloomington (Indiana) outfit – sixth if you count their 2015 live record. Like some writers are perceived as writers’ writers, receiving critical acclaim rather than commercial success, I’ve always felt The Cowboys flew under the radar of a major audience despite being critics’ darlings. This may change soon. While every record by The Cowboys had its share of major hits and creative highs, Sultan Of Squat is the most consistently accessible record by The Cowboys yet, without giving up any of the intangibles of what makes The Cowboys such a special band. If there was any point in time where the stars aligned for breakin’ out and simultaneously receiving rave reviews, it would be now.
From the first twenty seconds of the album opening The Sultan Of Squat to the dying seconds of the stellar American Boy, The Cowboys will renew your faith in the power of music. They lift me up like few records have managed to achieve this year. Sultan Of Squat is not the record we deserve, but having The Cowboys irrigate our collective soul is exactly what we need.
Sultan Of Squat is out now through Feel It Records.
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