KEVIN RUTMANIS of COWS – Song For Ewe

“SONG FOR EWE”
with KEVIN RUTMANIS of
COWS

Photograph by Deb Frazin

“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists & music people beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day. Today’s guest is bassist and founder member of Minneapolis band Cows whose records on Amphetamine Reptile Records like “Sexy Pee Story” and “Cunning Stunts” combined narky volume with sarky humour, and he’s also played for the Melvins (1999-2005 with additional appearances in 2013-2016) and with Mike Patton’s Tomahawk. In short, he’s a noise rock legend. He is Kevin Rutmanis!

I first heard Cows via their song “Sugar Torch” on the ace 1993 Amphetamine Reptile sampler, nestled among bands like Helmet and X. Its brooding, menacing opener just rips into high-speed shredding, and it gives me the same rush as eating a pink fondant fancy – I want to run around like a nutter.

Recently a Melvins loving mate on social media mentioned he thought I’d love them and he was right. I went back and listened to “Cunning Stunts” which I’d somehow swerved in the mid 90s and it’s acerbic wit and take no shit nature is totally up my strasse. Neither of us had honestly realised that Kevin (who formed Cows with his brother Sandris, Thor Eisentrager and then front man Norm Rogers) had gone onto be a full member of Melvins from “The Maggot” to “Sieg Howdy”, but it makes total sense.

Since that Kevin played with Tomahawk on two albums, and in his current bands Hepa/Titus and Teenage Larvae who put out the joint album “Omega Pig” last year. I searched for Kevin on Facebook, and thanks to mutual connections including Haze XXL (Amphetamine Reptile Records boss obvs) I not only found him but he instantly agreed to choose a “song for ewe”, and here it is, suitably obscure, doomy and esoteric….

“I just came across this and am listening RIGHT NOW!…I comb the www for music obsessively because there is so much out there that I’ve never even heard of…much of it unavailable today. “Wuyuan (The Necrolatry)” evidently released in 2003 by Enemite. The artist is Chinese, and that’s about all I know. The whole disc is impeccable.

Right now a song called “The Ancient Scintilla – Lasthome Of Fury” is playing. This stuff sounds like what might be traditional Chinese styled music reduced to echoey sparseness and some weird moaning. I honestly can’t describe to you what it sounds like, you’ll have to listen for yourself. Here’s the whole thing on Youtube:

Listen while you can. My paranoia insists that unusual and interesting music and movies are slipping away as the clouds absorb what everyone has..and then POOF! it’s gone.”

You can shop for Amphetamine Reptile records here.

And specifically Cows here (where there’s some availability on previously hard to get stuff…)

and if you like a bit of AmRep, here’s the Haze XXL “song for ewe” featuring The Wailers…(not the Bob Marley ones)

THOMAS HAZELMYER A.K.A. HAZE XXL from AMPHETAMINE REPTILE RECORDS – Song For Ewe

CHEERS KEVIN! THANKS FOR THE QUICK TURNAROUND AND GREAT SONG CHOICE.

Author: Nick Hutchings

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