Job for a Cowboy - _Demonocracy_
(Metal Blade Records, 2012)
by: Johnathan A. Carbon (6.5 out of 10)
The name Job for a Cowboy is usually synonymous with deathcore, whose popularity and sometimes disdain can be directly traced to their 2005 EP _Doom_. While deathcore existed before, in more experimental form, _Doom_ crystallized the sound, style and overall structure for a new wave of obnoxious followers. _Doom_ also brought the sound to its mainstream boiling point. The irony still lies in the fact that Job for a Cowboy switched to a traditional death metal style for their 2007 full-length debut _Genesis_ and has not changed course since. In fact, the band has little to do with deathcore's beginnings other than their name and a generation of listeners unwilling to forget.

_Demonocracy_ comes to us crowned in ridiculous album art. Not since the early days of thrash have I seen so many metaphors squeezed in tight like an unhappy subway car. The band has a visual mascot, like Iron Maiden, Megadeth and Skeletonwitch, which incorporate the same character for most album art. Job for a Cowboy's ram skulled figure has been a flagship for their album art and now goes down in history with Eddie, Vic Rattlehead, and Skeleton Mitch. In 2012, this ram skulled deity comes to us holding scales with authoritarian objects outweighing dead doves. That is right, _Demonocracy_ comes with a public service announcement.

Job for a Cowboy's death metal career has come with much maturity. From their aforementioned deathcore beginnings, the band has made strides in declaring themselves a death metal band able to drink legally. _Demonocracy_ still retains subtle hooks such as guitar solos and vocal variations, but for the most part is a 40 minute express train with no emergency stops. The songs range from four minutes to the longest track at six. Only at the closer "Tarnished Gluttony" does the band break their death marathon with a slow tempo death tango. I only mention "Tarnished Gluttony" as it is the only memorable track on _Demonocracy_.

Job for a Cowboy seems to be making many strides to distance themselves from their past. This desire to not be deathcore sometimes results in albums which are dull and characterless. Having an entire record set to the same BPM is accepted, but in no means a fallback. Songs like "Imperium Wolves" and "Manipulation Stream" are fantastic by themselves, but lose meaning when set out into a crowd of clones. Even the chance for topical banter is lost in a sea of middle range noise. If asked to identify any song in a police lineup, I would fail and the killer would most likely walk free.

I think it is time to express my love for the _Doom_ EP as well as Job for a Cowboy's decision to not continue the style. The band's last two records have been much like _Demonocracy_ in their mature yet less exciting journey into adulthood. Jonny Davy's dynamic vocals, which once brought tremendous adolescent glee, continues in its grey 40 hour work week with occasional Applebee's Friday night celebration. Perhaps I am too critical, as Job for a Cowboy has reinvented themselves into a legitimate and deserving death metal band. Whether or not they dazzle is of course up for debate.

(article published 2/4/2012)


ALBUMS
7/30/2009 J Smit 9.5 Job for a Cowboy - Ruination
6/10/2007 J Smit 8 Job for a Cowboy - Genesis
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