The Cows were a noise rock band from Minneapolis. The band formed in 1987 and disbanded in 1998. They were famous for a unique mixture of punk rock and blues played with large amounts of noise. Their CD releases are very hard to find these days, considering most of them are out of print (Whorn and Orphan's Tragedy remain in print, but these releases are not considered the band's best material by critics). The group's most acclaimed album is 1992's Cunning Stunts. Some of their albums, such as their debut album, Taint Pluribus Taint Unum, were never released in CD format.
The band was 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 was drawing an illustration of the game Hangman on his body that reads "F_CK" in permanent marker. 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."
They were honored with a star on First Avenue.
- Thor Eisentrager – Guitar (1987–1998)
- Kevin Rutmanis – Bass (1987–1998)
- Shannon Selberg – Vocals, Horns (1987–1998)
- Freddy Votel – Drums (1995–1998)
- Norm Rogers – Drums (1990–1995)
- Tony Oliveri – Drums (1988–1990)
- Sandris Rutmanis – Drums (1987–1988)
- David van der Steen – Fifth Udder (1987–1992)
- Taint Pluribus Taint Unum – Treehouse Records, 1987
- Daddy Has a Tail – Amphetamine Reptile Records, 1989
- Effete & 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
- Old Gold 1989-1991 – Amphetamine Reptile Records, 1995
- Whorn – Amphetamine Reptile Records, 1996
- Sorry in Pig Minor – Amphetamine Reptile Records, 1998