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Cows in the Graveyard 

Grog Shop

Cows in the Graveyard
Grog Shop
February 5

The members of the local avant-garde rock band Cows in the Graveyard look and sound as if they're from three different bands -- drummer Will has the spiky hair of a punk rocker, singer-guitarist Alx boasts the dreadlocks you'd expect to see in a jam band, and bassist Ian looks like he could be a frat boy. The music they play is simply unclassifiable, and that's a good thing.

Most of the songs the band played to the 30 or so fans who showed up at the Grog Shop came from the Cows' forthcoming album, tentatively titled Sketchbook Bible. While the the new songs still have some kinks in them, the band had no trouble delivering the material live. In songs like "Apart," the trio stopped and started on a dime, and Alx displayed his vocal skills in "Freedumb Music." While the Cows tended to play their lengthy songs one after another, with no breaks in between, Alx still found time to banter with the crowd and promote one of his upcoming poetry readings. He also evoked Jethro Tull when he played the flute and turned in a terrific cover of the Cure's "Boys Don't Cry." On one track, for which the band hasn't decided upon a name (it will be either "Curtain" or "Drown"), the Cows paid tribute to one of their greatest influences -- the late Jeff Buckley. While the concert had its share of glitches -- the group had to stop to tune, after Ian and Alx switched instruments for a cover of the Police's "Message in a Bottle" -- the band was able to quickly regroup and deliver terrific versions of most songs. -- Sarah E. Tascone

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