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Cows were a post-hardcore/noise rock band from Minneapolis, Minnesota. The band formed in 1987 and disbanded in 1998. They were known for a unique mixture of punk rock played with large amounts of noise and surreal humour; their music is often considered noise rock. Their CD releases are often difficult to find, as most of them are out of print, with the exception of Whorn and Orphan's Tragedy. Some of their albums were never released in CD format. After disbanding, Shannon Selberg went on to front The Heroine Sheiks.
|Origin||Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA|
|Genres||Noise rock, post-hardcore, hardcore punk|
Amphetamine Reptile Records
|Associated acts||The Heroine Sheiks, The Melvins, Hepa.Titus|
|Past members||Band members|
The band has been honored with a star on the outside mural of the Minneapolis nightclub First Avenue, recognizing performers that have played sold-out shows or have otherwise demonstrated a major contribution to the culture at the iconic venue. Receiving a star "might be the most prestigious public honor an artist can receive in Minneapolis," according to journalist Steve Marsh.
The band was formed in 1986 by Kevin Rutmanis on bass, Thor Eisentrager on guitar, then front man Norm Rogers and on drums Kevin's younger brother Sandris Rutmanis. Norm Rogers left the band in January 1987 to dedicate his time to drumming for the Jayhawks, returning in 1990 as the drummer. Shannon Selberg become the front man in February 1987. Sandris left the band in January 1989. 
The band are notorious for their raucous live performances. Acts the band have performed onstage include kicking people in the front row, spitting on the stage, throwing the microphone stand into the crowd, throwing food at the crowd, drawing on themselves, among others. Lead singer Shannon Selberg's trademark is that he has a tattoo illustrating the game Hangman on his body that reads "F_CK" and another tattoo of an anchor with the word "DAD" on top of it. One reviewer wrote about the band's shows, "I have no doubt that the Cows know how to play their instruments. What I don't understand is why they refuse to tune them."
- Shannon Selberg – Vocals, Bugle, Trumpet, Trombone (1987–1998)
- Kevin Rutmanis – Bass (1987–1998)
- Thor Eisentrager – Guitar (1987–1998)
- David van der Steen – Fifth Udder (1987–1992)
- Sandris Rutmanis – Drums (1987–1988)
- Tony Oliveri – Drums (1988–1990)
- Norm Rogers – Drums (d. 2018) (1990–1995)
- Freddy Votel – Drums (1995–1998)
- Taint Pluribus Taint Unum – Treehouse Records, 1987
- Daddy Has a Tail! – Amphetamine Reptile Records, 1989
- Effete and Impudent Snobs – Amphetamine Reptile Records, 1990
- Peacetika – Amphetamine Reptile Records, 1991
- Cunning Stunts – Amphetamine Reptile Records, 1992
- Sexy Pee Story – Amphetamine Reptile Records, 1993
- Orphan's Tragedy – Amphetamine Reptile Records, 1994
- Whorn – Amphetamine Reptile Records, 1996
- Sorry in Pig Minor – Amphetamine Reptile Records, 1998
Singles and EPsEdit
- Chow 7" – Treehouse Records, 1988
- Slap Back 7" – Amphetamine Reptile Records, 1990
- Plowed EP – Amphetamine Reptile Records, 1992
- Woman Inside 7" – Insipid Records, 1992
- Cow Island 7" – Amphetamine Reptile Records, 1994
- The Missing Letter Is You EP – Thick Records, 1998
- Sugar Daddy Live Split Series Vol. 2 – Amphetamine Reptile Records, 2012 (split with the Melvins)
- Old Gold 1989-1991 – Amphetamine Reptile Records, 1995
- Orpheus’ Travesty – KMFMT Records, 1998 (A retrospective album put together by Kevin Rutmanis and Freddy Votel and sold before their final concert)
- Stunning Cunts – Amphetamine Reptile Records, 2014 (Demos from Cunning Stunts)
- Stunning Cunts Vol. 2 – Amphetamine Reptile Records, 2015 (Demos from Cunning Stunts)
- "Cows: Biography" Cows' Biography as written by Allmusic. cited August, 2009
- "The Stars". First Avenue & 7th Street Entry. Retrieved 2020-05-10.
- Bream, Jon (2019-05-03). "10 things you'll learn about First Avenue in new Minnesota History Center show". Star Tribune. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. Retrieved 2020-05-10.
- Marsh, Steve (2019-05-13). "First Avenue's Star Wall". Mpls.St.Paul Magazine. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. Retrieved 2020-05-10.
- Founding members
- "Cows: Mark's Record Reviews" Mark Prindle Review Site. cited August, 2009