The Death Of The Self Preservation Society, which drops in September on Last Chance Records, will very likely be my favorite album of 2013. It’s not as polished as Sweet Saint Me and it doesn’t have the alt country feel of III but that’s because it’s not those albums, it is however, quite possible some of their best work to date. While I’ve always loved TCG’s albums, their live shows are a thing of beauty. They make an art of gutting themselves on stage and telling our fortunes in the viscera. The Death Of The Self Preservation Society comes as close to capturing that as I think you can get on a record. It demands volume, it’s impolite, and drags you in to Shane and Micah’s world while kicking you right in the teeth. (If you haven’t seen TCG live then you’re missing the fuck out and need to remedy that as immediately as you possibly can)

I don’t know whether I’d call it concept album but there is a theme here, a thread, a vein if you will, that screams “What’s the point of living if you aren’t fucking living!” And there’s this urgency to it, something in the music that lets you know that tomorrow might be too late. Lay your mistakes on the altar of the past, let them go, and take a deep, free breath and start living. This ever present push for the listener to accept that there is a better way to live hums through every track, driven by the music and slammed home by the lyrics. It’s an album that makes you want to get up from your desk, flip off your boss, and go find someone to have a fucking adventure with! And I know some folks won’t like the production on this one, it’s not as ear friendly as some of their older stuff but I think that’s on purpose. It’s a little jarring when you first put on the headphones, turn up the volume, and let the blood start to trickle out of your ears but when you combine that with the underlying themes it makes perfect sense. Sure it could have been made to sound polished but that’s not the point of this album. I really think the point is to take the listener out of their comfort zone and create some dissatisfaction with just drifting through the day to day existence. Whether it’s Micah and his flawless pop culture references or Shane’s brooding I think they really get the point across on this one.

Admittedly I’ve never sat down and talked to the boys about the creative process so my one complaint about this record might not be all that valid but I’d have really liked another track or two by Shane on this one. I think the theme is fitting for the darker type stuff he recorded for his solo album. And with that being my only real complaint I can say what you’ve already assumed: The Death Of The Self Preservation Society is Essential Listening! Now it’s time for you to get off your ass and go buy the soundtrack to your next really awesome bad decision…

Two Cow Garage – Stars & Gutters
Two Cow Garage – Van Gough
Two Cow Garage – Spiraling Into Control

Preorder The Death Of The Self Preservation Society on CD
Preorder The Death Of The Self Preservation Society on vinyl
Two Cow Garage on Facebook


  1. once again dude…great review. tcg has been on the top of my band list for about 8 years now. this album is very good from start to finish. the first and last track perfectly bookend this record. i have said this in numerous comment threads about tcg but very few bands i listen to on a regular basis have more like minded lyrics. i agree with their live shows being an awesome experience, i have seen them twice both were pretty damn incredible. aside from their shows shane and micah are great dudes, when i have gone up and thanked them for doing what they do they reciprocate in the discussion. i will support these guys as long as they make music. their music has progressed perfectly since please turn the gas back on.

  2. 100% agree.

    This may not be the best album of the year musically, but it is hands down the best in terms of message. There isn’t any navel-gazing here. This album isn’t sad self-reflection or pining over lost love. There are plenty of those albums and some of them are great. This album is the line that Micah drops on the album and has tattooed on his neck: “Shake The Dust”

    I could go into detail but I won’t. This album makes you feel some stuff.

  3. I just pre-ordered the vinyl but didn’t get any information about the digital download. Is that a mistake or will it not be available until closer to the release date. Just confused about how you guys all managed to hear it already…

      1. I also preordered the Vinyl copy and have not gotten the download yet. My order number is 5333. Thank you.

  4. No question, this is my favorite of the year and my favorite TCG record as well. It’s just an amazing record from beginning to end. I’m going to pimp the hell out of this record to both my friends and all three of my twitter followers on the 10th.

    Thank you TCG!

  5. This album fucking rocks, track after track. No other way to say it. Kevin, if you donated to help them get the record recorded via indiegogo they sent you a digital download two or three weeks back

  6. YESSSSSIR stoked about this! Awesome review / writeup as well!! I think you are spot-on about the sound quality as well….

    Speaking of the live show, I’ve only had the pleasure of seeing them live once here in Chapel Hill – they killed it (for the 15-20 of us there) and were some cool, down to earth, mother fuckers (meant in a complimentary, not oedipal, way lol)… does one find out about their upcoming live shows? I feel like I remembered them having a website quite some time ago, but can no longer find it,,,,the label site & facebook only have some ancient (circa 2011) shows listed.

    Want to make sure I don’t miss them next time they come through NC!!!

    Keep on keepin on yall

    1. This looks like their current list but I’m sure they’ll add more: #thicke

      8-2: Kokomo, IN- Weberfest
      8-3: Columbus, OH- Rumba (Record Release show!)
      8-9: Toledo, OH- Main Street
      8-24: Columbus, OH- Ace of Cups (Lost weekend records party!)
      9-5: Utrecht, NL- DB’s
      9-6: Den Helder, NL- Café Den Engel
      9-7: Asten, NL- Misty Fields
      9-8: London, UK- The Windmill
      9-9: Edinburgh, UK- PIVO
      9-10: Manchester, UK- Wahlbar w/ PJ Bond
      9-12: Cologne, DE- Tsunami Club
      9-13: Haarlem, NL: Patronaat
      9-14: Eindhoven, NL: Dutch Chili Fest
      9-22: Reggio Emilia IT- Vizi Del Pellicano
      10-10: Cincinnati, OH: Southgate House Revival
      10-11: Chicago, IL- Reggie’s Music Joint
      10-12: Milwaukee, WI- Club Girabaldi
      10-14: Minneapolis, MN- Triple Rock
      10-15: KC, MO- Record Bar
      10-17: Co Springs, CO- Triple Nickel
      10-18: Ft Collins, CO- Hodi’s
      10-21:Salt Lake City, UT- Burts Tiki Lounge
      10-26: Portland, OR- Dante’s

  7. Love this album. I’ve always thought the one problem this band has had is that sometimes Micah’s voice can be really grating. I don’t think that is the case with this album though. Also, agreed on more Shane songs. I’ve always liked his songs a lot, but on this album they really stand out as some of the strong tracks.

  8. Thanks to you all for supporting TCG! Those dudes changed my life the first time I saw them at the White Water Tavern back in ’06. Shane is working on a new solo album that will be out in early ’14.


  9. Excellent write up, excellent album, and I seriously can’t wait for them to come back to FoCo. The last time they played there was fucking insane. Hands down one of the best bands to see live.

  10. let’s try and name all the books in the cover photo!

    Remarque – All Quiet on the Western Front
    McCarthy – The Road
    Kephart – Our Southern Highlanders
    Updike – Rabbit, Run
    something by Hunter S. Thompson
    something by William S. Burroughs
    something by Nick Flynn


    1. My guesses: Robert Flanagan – Loving Power, Charles Dickens – Great Expectations, Dave Eggers – A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Cormac McCarthy – The Road, William Burroughs – Queer, Hunter S Thompson – Rum Diary, Horace Kephart – Our Southern Highlanders, John Kennedy Toole – A Confederacy of Dunces, Nick Flynn – Another Bullshit Night In Suck City, (maybe) The Science of Self-Realization – A.C. Bhaktivedanta, Erich Maria Remarque – All Quiet on the Western Front, John Updike, Rabbit Run, Chuck Palahniuk – Rant, J.M. Barrie – Peter Pan

  11. As the Mastering guy on the record, I enjoyed the hell out of doing it. I thought it was their best from the get go. Kind of odd for an ME to say that. But I have been a fan of theirs for a long long time. Nice to see it getting good reviews too…..Thanks!

      1. Enjoying the hell out of that too, just getting some mix tweaks done. Secret here was throwing it out to 2″ analog tape and then back during the mastering process. Not cheap but gave it a rad sound. Old Eddie Kramer trick.

  12. I agree, this album is amazing, absolutely incredible. They’ve got so many great albums, I’m no longer sure which is my favorite (for a while, it was speaking in cursive, but that was before Sweet Saint Me came out). The more I hear this new album, the more I love it, although I agree that I wish it was a bit longer, but it’s just so intense and fun to listen to that I just have to play it on repeat. As for the live two cow show, it’s incredible! I’ve seen them a number of times live, and it is a religious experience of sorts. I’m hoping they come a bit closer in the west coast tour, but there’s always the white water hang out!

  13. Great review!

    Both Micah and Shane changed the way they pitched their voices on this album. Micah sounds a little more…grownup? I’m not sure it’s totally working out for Shane — he’s straining his upper registers. But they’re pushing themselves to try new things and that’s what’s most important.

Comments are closed.