Galactic Cowboys

Galactic Cowboys

DGC, 1991

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


I can imagine sitting in the marketing department of DGC Records in 1991, just after they got their hands on the debut effort by Houston-based Galactic Cowboys. Can’t you see them, their heads in their hands, asking out loud, “How the hell are we supposed to sell these guys?”

The answer, really, is quite simple: just get someone to listen to the album, and let the band sell itself. Anyone who has an affinity for bands like King’s X and Phish are, honestly, gonna love these guys. Why it’s taken me 22 years to cover these guys again… well, I have no excuse, especially when listening to their first effort reminded me why I like these guys so much.

The band—vocalist/guitarist Ben Huggins, guitarist/vocalist Dane Sonnier, bassist/vocalist Monty Colvin, and drummer/vocalist Alan Doss—have mastered the ability to merge power pop and harmonized vocals with a progressive heavy metal sound (though I’d hesitate labeling the band as metal—hell, they’re impossible my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 to label, which is the beautiful thing). While you might not have heard their music on the radio, there’s no reason why some of these songs wouldn’t have fit… with the exception that commercial radio was loathe to play songs longer than five minutes.

Right out of the gate, with “I’m Not Satisfied,” the band simply stuns the listener with their solid musicianship and songwriting. It matters but little that all the songs (with the exception of two snippets) clock in at no less than five minutes apiece; you are simply hooked as the listener, and you won’t want to release your grip.

It should therefore be no surprise that Galactic Cowboys are friends with the members of King’s X, as the two bands sound surprisingly similar. That being said, Galactic Cowboys is by no means a King’s X clone; they are still able to create their own sound and vibe, all the while paying tribute to bands whose sounds share some similarities to what they have been able to create.

If Galactic Cowboys has any weakness, it’s that few of the songs have the power to stay with the listener after the last note has faded away. That doesn’t mean that songs like “Kaptain Krude,” “Kill Floor” or “Why Can’t You Believe In Me” are bad. It simply means that, after you’ve put the CD back in the rack, chances are you won’t be humming the melodies soon after.

And let’s give credit where credit is due: Galactic Cowboys handles the concept of a hidden track the right way, starting about 10 seconds after the end of “Speak To Me.” I hate having to wade through eight minutes or more of dead silence, just to be given a brief bonus. So, props to the band for getting it done quickly.

Galactic Cowboys might not be an album that’s easy to classify, but it certainly is an enjoyable experience. This is definitely an album that is begging to be rediscovered—and soon.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2022 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of DGC, and is used for informational purposes only.