While ROWCO makes some of the most legitimate hard rock I’ve heard in Indianapolis, the first six tracks on their self-titled debut album breeze by without distinction. Their style is varied, ranging from heavy ballads to stoner rock to straight up nu-metal. From front to back, the album recalls southern hard rock band Clutch, with bluesy scream-sings alternating with spoken lyrics and minimal but effective traditional rock instrumentation.
It's not until the middle of the album, on the track “Stones in the River,” that the band finally slows things down enough to make an impression. Mark Southerland’s singing voice, showcased on the song, is similar to Chris Cornell's, but has its own growl and edginess.
The band returns to their normal breakneck pace for the remainder of the release. “Outlaw” channels the same fun-factor as Nonpoint’s “Bullet With a Name," Southerland screaming “Bang! Bang! You’re dead!” with each run of the chorus. “Sun Don’t Shine” features a professional-grade, radio-ready introduction, while “Straight Down” returns to Clutch-inspired guitar melodies.
It's safe to say that ROWCO — an acronym of the famous idiom “rock out with your cock out” — is an appropriately-named band. In a city full of indie rock and power pop, the band answers a call for something harder and invigorating.