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One of the interesting things about following a band for a long time is seeing how the band evolves. Two Cow Garage has always had the ability to write thought-provoking songs. This band also has the willingness to write and sing songs about topics that aren’t always comfortable. The band’s new album Brand New Flag is full of great examples of Two Cow Garage writing honest, gritty songs that are sure to make you think.
“A Lullaby of Sorts” is a great example. Micah Schnabel sings about being in a Burger King in Indiana and seeing someone who walks in with a gun on his hip. He goes on to say that the open-carry supporter doesn’t really make him feel any safer. The other verses of the song are also about topics — like a psychiatric ward — that are not easily discussed. The melody is spare, and somehow gives the lyrics even more weight. This song hits like a punch to the gut from an MMA. fighter, but it’s so amazingly done that you just might get goosebumps.
“Let the Boys Be Girls” is a song whose title alone could make some folks uncomfortable. The thing is, when you listen to this song, you realize this is an anthem about being who you are and figuring things out on your own. While the whole song is great, the height is when Schnabel sings the line, “We don’t need old, rich white men to tell us who we can kiss goodnight.”
One of the most charming things about this band is that it has always been able to inject a certain amount of urgency in its songs. “History Now” is a song with Shane Sweeney on vocals. It rivals Springsteen not only in melody but also in the urgency you sense throughout the song. Sweeney sings about a lot of the issues our society is currently dealing with and poses the question “What if it is up to us to figure how the future all turns out?” If this song doesn’t get you thinking, it’s hard to imagine what will. The same could be said for “Shakespeare and Walt Disney,” a song that encourages listeners to stop comparing themselves to everyone else. It’s a message we all need to focus on more frequently.