Job For A Cowboy
01. Misery Reformatory
02. Plastic Idols
03. Execution Parade
04. Signature of Starving Power
Job For A Cowboy are a fairly divisive band. Starting off as one of the bands that infamously brought deathcore into popularity, the death metal elitists met the Arizona outfit with disdain. After all, the band’s garb can be seen all over your typical Hot Topic shopper, which made the band almost synonymous with scene kids, breakdowns, gargantuan ear gauges, and spin kicks and slingshot punches that have disrupted metal pits the world over. Quite the unfortunate start for a band with as much potential that would eventually come to fruition eight years after the band’s formation. Gloom, the bands fourth release (and 2nd EP), shows that the band are more than the “hardcore” fifteen year olds and that spring to mind when you hear their name.
If you’ve avoided Job For A Cowboy over the last couple of years solely because of negative hearsay, then you’re making a pretty big mistake. Anyone who has given Job For A Cowboy more than a minute’s passing listen can see that the days of their trendsetting Doom EP are long gone. Hell, if you’ve even heard their full length debut Genesis, the signs were obvious that a we were hearing a real death metal band as they gained their footing.
In that regard, Gloom sees a continuation of the style heard on 2009’s Ruination, but done with a touch more finesse. Job For A Cowboy are at the point in their careers where they really don’t have to answer to anyone, and it shows through their music. Each of the EP’s four tracks has bits and pieces that really stick out—the guitar solos in particular, which are crafted with expertise. The riffing is just technical enough to stick out and capture attention, but not self-indulgent. The drumming is a huge driving force on the EP, with huge fills and blasts that rival just about any other modern death metal band out there. The mixing on this EP is phenomenal as well; everything is pretty clear and sits well in the mix—even bass can be heard writhing about under the guitars, which is almost a rarity for music this bottom heavy. Everything seems to be on the up and up.
Unfortunately, this EP is a tad bittersweet. Despite the evolution in musicianship and style, the songs are ultimately not all that memorable, especially when you consider bands like The Black Dahlia Murder and Wretched that are out there doing the same thing, but yielding much better results. There is nothing technically wrong with the music—hell, this might just be some of their best work yet from a musical standpoint—but there’s not much to be taken away from Gloom after repeated listen.
If you’re already a fan of Job For A Cowboy, then this EP is obviously some of the music that you’ve been waiting for. For everyone else, Gloom may just be worth the listen. Who knows, you might change your mind about them and their place in the death metal genre. I mean, they’re not amazing, but then again, they’re not NEARLY as bad as some people claim. Gloom is respectable death metal that just needs a touch more identity.