New Cowboy Builders
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Jake from She Ripped, a four piece out of Wales, sent this over a few weeks back. It's always a little unbelievable that a band working off thousands of miles away in another country would think of sending their single in for review. It's a miracle nothing happened to the tiny vinyl and I was checking it out over the weekend.

A-Side's "Ultra Social Happy Man" is aligning itself with post punk in it's mechanical use of "Dr. Rhythm" who's credited on the reverse of the single and may or may not actually be a real person according to Facebook. The nearly deadpan delivery of Jake Healy's vocal, never getting overly emotional but settling for that Prinzhorn Dance School style of minimal delivery is combined with Gang of Four style anti-social themes that unsuprisingly still apply today; becoming numb in societies conventions and the daily grind wearing away any sort of passion for anything. That's the trade off in modern culture, with all it's comforts and security, the struggle is gone…and you get "ultra-social happy man". The track is one of those deceptively dance centric numbers, poppy and pounding away the uptime with a heavy on the edge of feedback distortion. It's as if the song itself is reflecting that mindless style but She Ripped is still going to make you get off on it. The guitar lines are tough and take liberties running this riff through the paces, driving alongside an equally gritty baseline…there's a hint of peaking, fuzz in everything but the vocal and that direct guitar. Like the Relations on 100m records, they're taking those great elements of post punk and putting their own, still appropriate spin on the content.

B-Side's "Mind the Gap" comes a little bit harder and that machine, and I definitely mean a real person, is back… and let me tell you, no electronics are going to pound with aggression like this. Coming off like an unearthed Shellac track, minor heavy hitting rhythms, the beefy distortions clipped and hard, carry along with them that line of rumbling dirty bass that always sounds like a punch to the gut. Going from that reflective post Wire style to something more dangerous and on the offensive. "And We Know" has Jake attempting a melody here, sounding a lot like Eddie Argos' style of bizarre storytelling that has equal parts folk and rowdy punk… there's an air of not trying so hard or letting your guard down. This is a precise, emotionless affair in vocals only, working against the direction of the huge barrage of sound. As noted on the sleeve a "doomed bedroom rant", the delivery as much a statement of that apathy as any mental scream. He does go off the rails at the end, and maybe there's some humanity left after all?

On black vinyl with an appropriately cynical insert of a table of contents from a cheesy book about making it in the music business. Import from the band direct. - 7 i n c h e s


Jake from She Ripped, a four piece out of Wales, sent this over a few weeks back. It's always a little unbelievable that a band working off thousands of miles away in another country would think of sending their single in for review. It's a miracle nothing happened to the tiny vinyl and I was checking it out over the weekend.

A-Side's "Ultra Social Happy Man" is aligning itself with post punk in it's mechanical use of "Dr. Rhythm" who's credited on the reverse of the single and may or may not actually be a real person according to Facebook. The nearly deadpan delivery of Jake Healy's vocal, never getting overly emotional but settling for that Prinzhorn Dance School style of minimal delivery is combined with Gang of Four style anti-social themes that unsuprisingly still apply today; becoming numb in societies conventions and the daily grind wearing away any sort of passion for anything. That's the trade off in modern culture, with all it's comforts and security, the struggle is gone…and you get "ultra-social happy man". The track is one of those deceptively dance centric numbers, poppy and pounding away the uptime with a heavy on the edge of feedback distortion. It's as if the song itself is reflecting that mindless style but She Ripped is still going to make you get off on it. The guitar lines are tough and take liberties running this riff through the paces, driving alongside an equally gritty baseline…there's a hint of peaking, fuzz in everything but the vocal and that direct guitar. Like the Relations on 100m records, they're taking those great elements of post punk and putting their own, still appropriate spin on the content.

B-Side's "Mind the Gap" comes a little bit harder and that machine, and I definitely mean a real person, is back… and let me tell you, no electronics are going to pound with aggression like this. Coming off like an unearthed Shellac track, minor heavy hitting rhythms, the beefy distortions clipped and hard, carry along with them that line of rumbling dirty bass that always sounds like a punch to the gut. Going from that reflective post Wire style to something more dangerous and on the offensive. "And We Know" has Jake attempting a melody here, sounding a lot like Eddie Argos' style of bizarre storytelling that has equal parts folk and rowdy punk… there's an air of not trying so hard or letting your guard down. This is a precise, emotionless affair in vocals only, working against the direction of the huge barrage of sound. As noted on the sleeve a "doomed bedroom rant", the delivery as much a statement of that apathy as any mental scream. He does go off the rails at the end, and maybe there's some humanity left after all?

On black vinyl with an appropriately cynical insert of a table of contents from a cheesy book about making it in the music business. Import from the band direct. - 7 i n c h e s


Wales, as has been noted in many outlets on many occasions, produces a disproportionate quantity of good music for a country of its size.

It’s always been my theory that part of this can be chalked up to the – ahem – stubborn Welsh demeanour, a mindset fuelled by years of being on the receiving end of a bad deal from the big, grumpy country it borders.

Still, hundred of years of cultural oppression is a small price to pay for some great pop music, right?

She Ripped hail from Cardiff, and are another band who are struggling to get out of Wales – so that they can get back in again. Wales provides a funny route map. It won’t matter so much if they keep spitting out angular, outré, outsider songs like Ultra-Social Happy Man.

Angry in its own lethargic manner, Ultra-Social Happy Man might even feel a little disassociated with itself. Maybe the band are angrier than they think.

Whatever the collective state of mind, She Ripped take great delight in songs that turn abrupt, jagged corners, and thrust the results at us – ostensibly in expectation of appreciation, but I suspect they’d be just as happy with disgust. They’ll only find the former here. Great, cranky stuff. - A New Band A Day


Wales, as has been noted in many outlets on many occasions, produces a disproportionate quantity of good music for a country of its size.

It’s always been my theory that part of this can be chalked up to the – ahem – stubborn Welsh demeanour, a mindset fuelled by years of being on the receiving end of a bad deal from the big, grumpy country it borders.

Still, hundred of years of cultural oppression is a small price to pay for some great pop music, right?

She Ripped hail from Cardiff, and are another band who are struggling to get out of Wales – so that they can get back in again. Wales provides a funny route map. It won’t matter so much if they keep spitting out angular, outré, outsider songs like Ultra-Social Happy Man.

Angry in its own lethargic manner, Ultra-Social Happy Man might even feel a little disassociated with itself. Maybe the band are angrier than they think.

Whatever the collective state of mind, She Ripped take great delight in songs that turn abrupt, jagged corners, and thrust the results at us – ostensibly in expectation of appreciation, but I suspect they’d be just as happy with disgust. They’ll only find the former here. Great, cranky stuff. - A New Band A Day


Years ago I was sitting at some shitty bar minding my own business when a guy came up to me and started chatting me up and down about polka music. No kidding. There was some equally shitty live cover band playing and he went on and on pointing to them about how polka related to rock music in some weird roundabout way. He even proceeded to demonstrate polka rhythms by thrusting his hips back in forth while making some weird noises, as if that were to convince me. It was terrifying, yet amusing. This man was what I believe to be an ultra-social happy man as defined by the band in the press release. So as a result every time I read the title of the latest single from the Wales based She Ripped, I chuckle a little bit thinking about that overly enthusiastic pasty looking guy who chose me as his victim for that ten of fifteen minutes.

I hadn’t realized that She Ripped had been around for five or so years now, breaking up in 2009 but later reforming in the winter of 2010. I believe Ultra-Social Happy Man is the first output since reforming actually. The group also features Jake Healy who is ½ of across sea collaborative noise mongers Pink City, but don’t expect this to be really anything all that similar. She Ripped dishes out three cuts of compelling post-punk here that takes a few cues from similarly attitude fueled groups like The Fall or Wire, but with some added meat to it. The vocals from Healy add to the bit of underlying feel of dealing every days constant minor annoyances, with his somewhat laid back approach that walks a fine line between of being simply exhausted or just not too amused by all that surrounds him. Cool single from these gents. - Built On A Weak Spot


Years ago I was sitting at some shitty bar minding my own business when a guy came up to me and started chatting me up and down about polka music. No kidding. There was some equally shitty live cover band playing and he went on and on pointing to them about how polka related to rock music in some weird roundabout way. He even proceeded to demonstrate polka rhythms by thrusting his hips back in forth while making some weird noises, as if that were to convince me. It was terrifying, yet amusing. This man was what I believe to be an ultra-social happy man as defined by the band in the press release. So as a result every time I read the title of the latest single from the Wales based She Ripped, I chuckle a little bit thinking about that overly enthusiastic pasty looking guy who chose me as his victim for that ten of fifteen minutes.

I hadn’t realized that She Ripped had been around for five or so years now, breaking up in 2009 but later reforming in the winter of 2010. I believe Ultra-Social Happy Man is the first output since reforming actually. The group also features Jake Healy who is ½ of across sea collaborative noise mongers Pink City, but don’t expect this to be really anything all that similar. She Ripped dishes out three cuts of compelling post-punk here that takes a few cues from similarly attitude fueled groups like The Fall or Wire, but with some added meat to it. The vocals from Healy add to the bit of underlying feel of dealing every days constant minor annoyances, with his somewhat laid back approach that walks a fine line between of being simply exhausted or just not too amused by all that surrounds him. Cool single from these gents. - Built On A Weak Spot


Based in Wales, She Ripped have been knocking around on and off for a few years and have a handful of releases under their belt on small local labels. After a brief sabbatical the quartet reunited to record the three tracks for this new 7" single in the glorious summertime rain of Cardiff. The outcome is, perhaps unsurprisingly, not sun-kissed, blissful pop but a rather less evocative mixture of throbbing punk fury and downbeat singing.

This doesn't amount to a trio of dreary dullard guitar bashing songs though, as She Ripped have a conviction and brawn to their sound that's best sampled through the driving power-punk of the lead track with its deadpan vocals and scorching guitar breaks. It's more empowering than uplifting but it's definitely a rousing track. B-sides 'Mind The Gap' and 'And We Know' don't quite have the same spark yet both are a worthy inclusion and sit somewhere between early Idlewild and The Cribs whilst also evoking the spirit of underrated 90s heroes Earl Brutus. All in all it's not a single to be listened to quietly. - The Sound of Confusion


Based in Wales, She Ripped have been knocking around on and off for a few years and have a handful of releases under their belt on small local labels. After a brief sabbatical the quartet reunited to record the three tracks for this new 7" single in the glorious summertime rain of Cardiff. The outcome is, perhaps unsurprisingly, not sun-kissed, blissful pop but a rather less evocative mixture of throbbing punk fury and downbeat singing.

This doesn't amount to a trio of dreary dullard guitar bashing songs though, as She Ripped have a conviction and brawn to their sound that's best sampled through the driving power-punk of the lead track with its deadpan vocals and scorching guitar breaks. It's more empowering than uplifting but it's definitely a rousing track. B-sides 'Mind The Gap' and 'And We Know' don't quite have the same spark yet both are a worthy inclusion and sit somewhere between early Idlewild and The Cribs whilst also evoking the spirit of underrated 90s heroes Earl Brutus. All in all it's not a single to be listened to quietly. - The Sound of Confusion


This is the sound of a paranoid existential crisis moments before if barks into life and cripples you. Pounding drums and languid guitar lines wind menacingly around one another as the vocals talk about “going to the garage” and hearing voices from unseen people. There’s a repetitive creeping sense of dread and anxiety throughout the whole track that never really lets up, coaxed along by an underplayed vocal performance and music that constantly threatens to wake up and bite you as soon as you look the other way, only exploding momentarily into life for the last minute or so. It’s the soundtrack to suddenly finding yourself alone and stranded in a strange part of a dark city, with no idea how you got there. - The MMP


This is the sound of a paranoid existential crisis moments before if barks into life and cripples you. Pounding drums and languid guitar lines wind menacingly around one another as the vocals talk about “going to the garage” and hearing voices from unseen people. There’s a repetitive creeping sense of dread and anxiety throughout the whole track that never really lets up, coaxed along by an underplayed vocal performance and music that constantly threatens to wake up and bite you as soon as you look the other way, only exploding momentarily into life for the last minute or so. It’s the soundtrack to suddenly finding yourself alone and stranded in a strange part of a dark city, with no idea how you got there. - The MMP


Discography

Albums

On The Surface - CD - Self-Released - 2009

EPs

Canis Lupus Familiaris - CD - 2007
More Welsh Misery - CD - 2008

Singles

Ultra-Social Happy Man - 7" - 2012
Garage Night - Download - 2012

Photos

Bio

New Cowboy Builders formed late 2007 in the Rhondda Valleys (which is in Wales and has recently been officially renamed MTV’s The Valleys). The same day as their first gig they released their first EP. From 2007 onwards they played mainly locally, releasing two more records before splitting for a short period in August 2009. The band returned with a compilation appearance and live dates in 2011, and the next year releasing the Ultra-Social Happy Man seven inch and Garage Night free download, which earned them some acclaim from a few notable bloggers and Radio Wales DJ Adam Walton. They are spending early 2013 working on new material before building up on last year’s success with as many gigs as possible, with hopefully a new release by the end of the year.