Label: Fat Wreck Chords It might seem odd at first that Fat Wreck Chords is just now releasing Against Me!'s The Original Cowboy, a collection of demos for 2003's As the Eternal Cowboy. As it turns out, though, the record is pretty well-timed. For the ex-fans who felt burned by the slick production on 2007's New Wave and frontman Tom Gabel's 2008 solo EP Heart Burns, here's something grittier. For fans bummed to see drummer Warren Oakes leave the group, here's one last shot at the sun. And super-fans and newbies alike get a glorious history lesson. Save for the track Sink, Florida, Sink, all the other songs from As The Eternal Cowboy appear on the demo release. The combined opening track A Brief Yet Triumphant Introduction / Cliché Guevarra is sludgier, sloppier, a little more raw and a hell of a lot better than what the split result became – especially Warren Oakes’ pulverizing percussion in the first half of the song. It’s immediately clear where the differences are, and even moreso, exactly what went wrong with Eternal Cowboy. Here, the magic is in the raw, spontaneous feel of it all. It sounds real. It sounds fun, not overdubbed and overproduced.