While most instances of indie rock and folk music present a low production value for authenticity, Cowboy Worship takes that theory to a heavy extreme. The instrumentals have a solid sense of building toward an ultimate closing statement, but the fuzzy atmospheres simply feel too hazy to become real. Much of the EP feels as if you just woke up from a confusing dream, which makes every moment far too fleeting to become catchy or beautiful. There are plenty of moments that show off great instrumental work but the production gets in the way. Each song either decides to emphasize vocals too high over top or allows the guitars and pianos to make the vocals similar to what comes out a low quality speaker. The biggest damage is done by mixing the drums to a nearly inaudible level on every track though. At no point do the drums actually feel like a necessary addition to the EP.
There are a few good things to note on this EP though. Despite all the major problems present, it is easy to sense that Damon McMahon has a distinct personality. “Song to the Siren” shows off an intense patience that he has for the right lover, which is a very sincere sample of writing. “I Can Dig It(China Street Blues)” is the most energetic track, featuring a highly diverse instrumental that morphs into nearly haunting presence by the end.
Cowboy Worship feels like an EP of songs that either could not make a cut for a full length album or is just a grand example of an artist tinkering with their sound far too much. The attitude and general sense of personality is nice to hear from a genre that tends to be full of copycats. However, the production is too much of an issue to make most the tracks worth following and the lack of a truly great track makes the less than 30 minute EP lack a rewarding sentiment. Amen Dunes are an interesting act to look into for older releases, but this one is simply for the curiosity of major fans.
1. I Know Myself(Montreal)
2. Song to the Siren
3. I Can Dig It(China Street Blues)
4. Green Eyes(Music Blues)
5. Lezzy Head(Burial)