Model Prisoners

Cow Milking Music

Written by: PP on 23/05/2010 17:16:30

The story behind Model Prisoners is interesting enough to serve as an introduction to the band. Formed in 1985 by Sonny Vincent of old school New York punk group Testors, and Bob Stinsson of The Replacements, the project was started after Stinson had a chat with Vincent and said "You know Sonny, we should just write some songs that farmers could listen to as they milk cows!". So this album, "Cow Milking Music", was essentially written over 25 years ago, but never released to the public. Since then, Stinson has died (back in 1995), and after carrying the master tapes with him everywhere he went for all this time, Vincent finally decided to release it to the wider world.

The sound puts together blues, garage punk and -rock in a very old school 80s oriented way as is to be expected from a record actually written back then. It's a combination of studio tracks, all of which play heavily on the blues element in the midst of the garage flavored guitar tone, and live recordings. The studio tracks are all quite enjoyable in their own right, featuring a true 80s punk sound (when the genre was pretty much dead until Bad Religion came to rescue), even if they're not interesting enough to have a spot on my regular playlist. My problem, however, lies with tracks like "Chains", which sounds like it was recorded at some basement show without anyone manning the mixing boards. Tracks like these should never have made a professional record as they are nothing but incomprehensible feedback and distortion, which together drown the drums and the vocals into a meaningless mess. There are also other questionable production decisions made regarding some of the studio cuts as well to really hamper the listening experience.

That's also why I can't find it in me to recommend this disc to anyone but the biggest Replacements and/or Testors fans, specifically those who value the guitar work of Stinson highly. For anyone used to at least decent production even on punk albums is immediately going to be put off by those horribly ringing live cuts that constitute at least half of this record. Throw in the fact that the other tracks are merely 'okay', it's hard to go with anything else but an average grade here.

5

Download: Bad Attitude
For the fans of: The Replacements, Testors
Listen: Myspace

Release date 19.02.2010
Cargo Records / Target Distribution ApS

Only one Model Prisoners song available on Sonny's Myspace page

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