Cows were a post-hardcore/punk blues band from Minneapolis, Minnesota. The band formed in 1987 and disbanded in 1998. They were known for a unique mixture of punk rock and blues 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, such as their debut album, Taint Pluribus Taint Unum, were never released in CD format.
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."