Job For A Cowboy
posted on 7/2009 By:
Ruination is not your little sister's Job For A Cowboy.
But there's just no pleasing some of you, and for alot of us, we don't even have little sisters, so we can't really detest them and their crew of bubblegum chewing, soda-jerking, death-core loving mallrats looking for the next Jonas Brothers with a bloodlust. I feel for y'all. I really do. That must be sooooo annoying. But when I throw Ruination on, free from those kinds of pollutants, I hear skilled stabs at real Death Metal. Not tween-core. Some of you just hate so damn well that it's actually impressive, and I totally understand it; it's justified. It was all really Genesis' fault, anyway; the press and all of their hot air. The most anticipated debut's, the billboard chart stats, the "Golden God Award" this and "Hottest Guitar Band" that... All of that jive was so far ahead of JFAC, about two years apparently, that it was actually kind of embarrassing once I sat down with it and heard nothing in the way of Metal Blade CEO Brian Slagel's rants and raves about the "melodies inside of all that brutal heaviness", or these kids "doing something different". It was all about the one-gazillion MySpace hits and some gnarly t-shirt designs. That's it. There was nothing uncommon or shiny about the little bit of melody that they may have stuck somewhere inside of all that tame weight, and they were not doing anything different. Not at all. There was absolutely no reason for any of us who cozy up with real DM, to have anything to do with it. But I got sucked in because pop-culture fascinates me, and I would've got away without it, too, if it weren't for those damn kids.
So, blah blah Doom EP this. Blah blah Genesis that. Well.... BLAM! BLAM! Ruination. A fierce drum fill pulls the trigger and plugs right into frenetic picking hands, announcing a defection from JFAC Version 12.year.0lds. And yes, those hands seem to have made a pivot point of a Vogg (guitarist; Decapitated) styled assault. This mimicry makes music that negates anything in JFAC's back-catalog in two seconds flat. It's a pantomime-like move that pushes the lever on this box of TNT, and hopefully has forever disfigured the face of this band. So be it. It's gonna take just about a Ruination's amount of skill for me to pronounce their ridiculous name in public, much less admit to enjoying them. The playful opening riff of "Unfurling A Darkened Gospel", the starts and stops in "Lords Of Chaos", these cheap tricks eerily resemble an Organic Hallucinosis fashioned career move, minus the finesse of course (that's not so easily attainable), but the heart of this album is spent wrestling with the induction of a stateside-meets-far-far-away influence. Not such a bad thing after all, to let others hear you strive. Especially when it achieves its desired effect, as in "Summon The Hounds", where a nod to a Lamb Of God-like dose of melody makes for a nice and necessary contrast. It's something that I'm not used to hearing from this band, and it's a nice power-play.
Okay. Admittedly, that's alot of high praise for a cheap date. It speaks galaxies of the chops on Ruination, but little of the chomp in their songwriting; they still tread ground very often walked. Walked to death. Tracks like "March To Global Enslavement" and "To Detonate And Exterminate" are tiresome entities where the defining lines get blurred and create beasts with amnesia. Thankfully for them, in the natural progression of things, they're about one album away from composition actually mattering. So I'm satisfied in knowing that this band, that I'm pretty sure won't go away anytime soon, is at least upping the wow-factor, and Cowboy '09 did it like this: 1. New sticks. This marks newest drummer Jon Rice's (ex-Crown The Lost) first recorded appearance even though he toured on the success of Genesis, and he puts Ruination through the wood chipper. 2. New strings. This also marks guitarist replacement Al Glassman's (Goratory, ex-Despised Icon, ex-Burn In Silence) JFAC recording debut as well, and he puts Genesis through identity theft, doing an admirable job. Replacing a guitarist and a drummer should mean that a band is about to get a face-lift, and the little explosions of poly-rhythmic fills, blasts, and overall tempo variations, combine forces with spider-fingered fun, all the while feeling particularly incarcerated as Jason Suecof (producer; All That Remains, The Black Dahlia Murder, Trivium, etc.) makes this feel like stepping face first into the biggest web ever. These cosmetic components botox the flatulent and fizzled formula of their past, enough that even haters might enjoy. Make an argument that the flash doesn't flesh out, and you'll most likely win, but you gotta admit that there's some new skin happening here. And it's kinda exciting.
For a band that's synonymous with cotton-candy, Ruination puts Job For A Cowboy one steak away from carnivorous.
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