Local Current Blog

Cows to reunite, headline AmRep Bash 2015

Detail from the cover of the Cows' 1992 album "Cunning Stunts"

This July, legendary local label Amphetamine Reptile Records is hosting a bash celebrating its 30th anniversary with special headliners the Cows. The two-day festival will take place in the Grumpy’s Downtown parking lot on July 10 and 11. The rest of the lineup consists of the Melvins, Run Westy Run, Les Butcherettes, Hammerhead, Gay Witch Abortion and Hepa-Titus. The show will mark the first time the Cows have played together since 1998, save for a brief reunion last November. According to the AmRep press release, it is the band’s only planned reunion for the near future.

In the late ’80s and ’90s, the Cows became one of the Twin Cities’ most influential punk bands, alongside contemporaries the Suburbs, Hüsker Dü and the Replacements. With frontman Shannon Selberg’s screaming vocals, Thor Eisentrager’s thrashing guitar and the occasional horn feature, they blasted the Twin Cities with nine records and rose to local acclaim for their bizarre, post-hardcore sound. In live performance, Selberg’s wild stage presence helped draw attention. Infamous incidents include performing nude (save for a makeshift outfit of shaving cream), wearing mousetrap earrings and doing headstands.

Tom Hazelmyer founded Amphetamine Reptile Records in 1986, for the sake of releasing his own music. The label went on to become nationally renowned for its quality noise rock, with the likes of the Melvins, Charlie Ondras and the Cosmic Psychos among their signed artists. The Cows released eight out of their nine albums with the label, making this reunion particularly apt. According to City Pages, the Cows’ current incarnation—billing themselves as Cowz to signify the absence of founding guitarist Thor Eisentrager—includes Selberg, bassist Kevin Rutmanis, drummer Freddy Votel and guitarist Paul Sanders.

Tickets for the bash are $48, now on sale via Eventbrite.

Jackie Renzetti is a student at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities and is an A&E reporter at the Minnesota Daily