COWS were a legendary Minneapolis quartet who released 7+ albums, toured relentlessly and enjoyed a fairly successful 10 year indie career during the 80s-90s. One of a handful of bands who mined the blues and jazz idioms for their punk/noise sound, they explored musical territory that many avoided and were known as not only a fave of Thurston Moore, but also an incendiary live act. Cunning Stunts is their most accessible offering and while the more weird and avant-garde stuff is found on other platters, there is still plenty of COWS magic, especially on songs like Heave Ho, Mine, Contamination, the quirky Terrifique, and the closer Ort. Guitarist Thor and bassist Kevin (who later went on to play with the Melvins for a few years) were always more interested in concocting mind-blowing parts and grooves than they were in soloing and the whole ensemble goes Cotton Club from Hell when singer Shannon Selberg blasts bugles and trumpets over the mix. Great stuff.