So Cow So Cow

Did you hear the one about the Irishman in South Korea that recorded a lifetime supply of lo-fi paeans? That's the story of the oddly named So Cow, featuring a man named Brian Kelly, who's been making self-recorded music for a few years now. Deciding to get serious, Kelly compiled the best of two albums, an EP and some singles for this definitive release, which was mastered by the famous Bob Weston. So Cow strikes an immediate chord for having such an ambivalent character; Kelly's direction is multi-forked, zigzagging between zippy power pop, nutty new wave and nerdy punk, switching faces like it sold its attention span for a crappy four-track. An ambitious 18 tracks, Kelly manages to make such a tall order surge with promptness and elasticity, as the dreamy, synthetic structure of "Shackleton" bounces off ramshackle fuzz punk number "Normalcy" then ricochets over to "Ping Pong Rock" and its cockeyed spin on post-punk. Of course, as lovable as So Cow is, there are a couple of missteps when Kelly flaunts his Korean language chops. But such an indulgence can easily be ignored on an album that travels this fast. (Tic Tac Totally)